VLC Multicast IS what you WANT, don't IPLAYER/Unicast and waste MASSIVE bandwidth.
wow , is this really an education website with all these fail options, Iplayer is Unicast off site TCP/IP streaming, as in you need to use one outside TCP/IP connection Per EVERY SINGLE Person watching,100 people.
that's 100 single Unicast connections taking masses of WAN and LAN bandwidth for a given average of 2Mbit/s to 3.5Mbit/s for the HD 720P and 1080P Iplayer stream assuming you can get a direct URL to the servers streaming cache.
Clue: you can to some degree or not as the case may be... if you setup and use the discontinued http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer but thats not what you want to do ,
Multicast is Exactly what you want to use IF your switches are dumb, as in pass everything received on to all connected Ethernet devices ,as is VLC to server this content.
multicast means take ONE single input and literally streaming to a dedicated Multicast address such as the local LAN allowable Multicast address 188.8.131.52 and put your separate content streams on the port of your choice as in 184.108.40.206:7777 , thats ONE single multicast video stream for anyone on the same LAN section to load up VLC and tune into 220.127.116.11:7777, they all get that one single stream at the same time, result MASSIVE Bandwidth saving over the 100 Unicast streamers...
diagram was right all along to choose VLC as that IS your best end user option (free or not forget payed for options as they invariably use generic and free Older VLC code underneath anyway ) for taking anything you can view with it and so also able to Multicast stream that same input with a few added options to the cli line over Multicast to save vast amounts of bandwidth for the good of everyone and keep high quality video content too , no crumby 500Kbit/s low quality streaming here....
also, Tricky_Dicky , the reason you should Not use "Windows Media Encoder and Streaming server" is simple, QUALITY for a given bandwidth, and they don't do AVC/H.264 real-time encoding with the best (both in speed, and visually highest quality) x264 Encoder , VLC does, in fact veetle on the fly web streaming uses it http://veetle.com/index.php , but that means using Your external upload bandwidth 0f around 1.5Mbit/s for good quality VLC 16:9 ratio video etc.