Issue 25

AV Interview: Richard Jonker, Netgear AV

Richard Jonker, Vice President Global Business Development, Netgear AV talks about what makes Netgear switches AV friendly.


23 February 2024

Interview:/ Christopher Holder

When I asked Richard Jonker how the Australian market has taken to the Netgear range of AV switches his answer was unequivocal: “we took it by storm”. It’s hard to disagree. Netgear AV switches are taking the heavy IT lifting away from AV people, and no one is complaining. Richard explains the Netgear AV proposition and the Australian presence in more detail.

Richard Jonker: What Netgear does in the world of AV over IP is make all this connection work easy. We are an agnostic plumber to your building. Running AV over IP – audio, video, control –  over a network gets complex. If it’s one device talking to one device, that’s not hard. If it’s multiple devices speaking multiple languages over multiple switches doing multicast – that’s a lot of ‘multis’ – it’s getting harder. So that’s the problem we solve. We make multicast easy.

What we’ve done is we’ve worked with manufacturers all over the world – there are 238 of them. We tested their products on our networks. They tested our products in their labs just to make sure it’s certified and working correctly. After that, we froze those configuration and turn them into preset Profiles. If you need to set up a complex network, you can just go into the user interface of our switch, enter the Profiles you want to run – Crestron NVS, Dante audio, NDI, AMX… I mean, there are many protocols and the industry is clearly not discriminating, but it gets very noisy. So we solved that.

So what you can do now is not just do this on one switch, you can do it with a free controller application – just download it from You can manage multiple switches. It means you can save a configuration and deploy it the next time you’re at another site. So it’s a site-level controller and it allows you to set up an AV over IP network across a giant building in 20 minutes.

You can do this yourself – we train you how to do it up – but if you’d rather have help, then we can do it. So we have William [Mayoral Palacios] in our Sydney Chatswood office who is available to field your questions. He can help with pre-sales questions. What we say is if you let us design the network, we will not only guarantee that it works, we’ll get you a kit list, we’ll make sure it’s complete and we won’t leave until it’s done. We’ll take that responsibility. We are accountable for that. You can call us 24/7. We have a team all over the world – William is one of many – so we work around the clock. And there’s only one thing you need to remember, it’s an email address:

AV: What Netgear products are leading the charge?

RJ: Our AV over IP switches. We have the M4250 line of products, which is a one gigabit platform with PoE that runs most household AV over IP protocols, such as Crestron NVX, Dante, NDI, AES67 – typical 1Gb commercial audio video encoder/decoders. We have a matching, fast router. It has a 10 gigabit pipe in it that you can use to set up a router in a segmented network.

Our newest release, the M4350 series, is faster: they go up to 100 gigabit connections. And the top two also run SMPTE2110 – popular in broadcast and in the live event space. And now that the big LED walls are popping up everywhere, a lot of that software-defined stuff runs on ST2110 networks. So we see it in broadcast goal-line technology, for example. And with this combination, you can do AV over IP, in commercial, even residential applications, but also broadcast and live event networks. 

AV: AV people are mostly resigned to needing some IP expertise but it sounds like you’re bridging that gap. It’s interesting to me that Netgear recognises the AV industry as worthy of its attention.

RJ: There’s a saying: you can teach a fish how to climb a tree, but it will never be a happy. AV people are really good at swimming, so let them swim. Let AV people own the user experience because IT people are really bad at that. They don’t care, right? If the AV people own the user experience, we design the plumbing under that and we just make sure it works. We can provide training. The least we can do for you is we’ll teach you how to ask the right questions so you can understand what network configuration is necessary. Or you let us represent you as a AV integrator. We’ll just ask the questions and design the network. So there is a guaranteed outcome that way – no truck rolls, it will work immediately. 

AV: So it’s not just that you have technical backup available, you’re actively encouraging people to use Netgear to design the network and that way you’re guaranteeing the performance? 

RJ: There’s an IT skill gap which we can solve. It’s not only that it’s difficult to hire IT people into the AV industry, maybe you can’t justify hiring a full time IT guy for your AV business, right? In that case, it’s easier to leave that to us. And it’s free of charge because it’s included in the price of the switch. We don’t charge you. There is no professional service department with invoicing in Netgear. It’s part of the product.

AV: How’s the introduction to the Australian market gone? 

RJ: We took it by storm. This was really nice. Last year we started hiring people. We have William on the technical side. We also have Daniel Galea, who spent a lot of time in the industry working for AV distribution and manufacturers.

The way the Australian market works is very compatible with how we work. We immediately developed warm relations with the AV distributors – we’re able to give them the right product, set the right margin and structure it in such a way that everyone’s happy. The thing is, with AV over IP, you need to deploy the switch together with the end points. So that’s where we go: we help AV integrators that sell AV over IP end points. The switch is a small percentage of the total cost of a project but without it – and back to the building analogy – it’s like the bathroom in your beautiful new villa: imagine you put a beautiful, pink marble floor in your villa (Hey, I don’t judge, right! That’s your taste.) but then the toilet doesn’t flush because there’s something wrong with the plumbing. That would be painful, right? You don’t want to break open the marble floor just to get at the pipes. That’s where we come in: let us help you design these networks so you don’t have to break open the marble floor. 


If the AV people own the user experience, we design the plumbing under that and we just make sure it works

Netgear AV:


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