Multicast vs Unicast with Moving heads

I have used Unicast with a fixed IP address in Photon for testing and setting up my scenes. During a gig this weekend I had some connection isskrapa that I found out was because of a DHCP change to the IP of the Art-net node. I have solved that so all is good.

During troubleshooting I noticed that I could run everything in Multicast, and then it didn’t matter which IP the Art-net node was given.
However when trying this out I noticed another thing.
In Multicast mode the movement of my MHs was choppy (both in sequences and when using the movement tool) and didn’t follow the programming of the sequences. When I found the networking issue and changed back to Unicast everything started working as normal again.

I have read that Unicast has better performance all around compared to Multicast, but does it really make this big of a difference in terms of movement and sequecing?

Hello !
Unicast is generally preferred over broadcast for DMX with Artnet due to its targeted communication. Unicast sends data directly to a specific IP address, reducing unnecessary network traffic and avoiding the need for all devices on the network to process broadcast packets. This targeted approach enhances performance by minimizing data collisions and improving overall network efficiency, especially in larger setups with numerous DMX devices.

Unicast will almost always the better way to go, unless you don’t have control over the network (in which case I would roll your own, so you will have control). The biggest problem with multicast is that “smart” network gear often tries to optimize multicast traffic by guessing where it actually needs to go — this “feature” is typically called IGMP Snooping or Multicast Enhancement — but the end result is multicast that doesn’t work. It wreaks havoc in the smarthome space.

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Thank you for the insights!

I will try to set a static IP config in my router to avoid the Artnet node to be assigned to different IPs over time. Or is there any risks by doing so? I’m not a network specialist in any way :smiley:

If that router is always part of your standard setup, then that should do the trick.


Yes, its in the rack with my mixer and Artnet node.

Then I will try that and hopefully it saves me future headaches :smiley:

Thank you!