ProAV by Design – the New M4250 1Gb Ethernet Switches

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lmasia, Senior Director of Product Line Management - Managed Switches

There is a huge demand for 1Gb AV: think about office conference rooms, digital signage, residential AV systems, and sports bars and restaurants where video is constantly playing. Not only is 1Gb is usually sufficient to deliver high-quality AV for these applications; but 1Gb users also do not want to pay for more horsepower than necessary or deal with more network complexity than needed. They want network switches designed with them in mind, but until now, that has not been an option.

The old way to ProAV

Traditionally, Pro AV installers and their customers bought IP switches originally developed for IT. These work fine and have supported the growth of AV over IP, but they have their limitations. Apart from often being complicated and expensive, the fact that they are not specifically designed for AV has caused some serious issues that users have had to work around. For instance, IT switches have cabling at the front, which is acceptable when hidden in a comms room, but not so good when in full view of customers in an upscale car showroom. Plus, IT switches speak the IT language, and most AV users are not network technology experts.

At NETGEAR, we’ve done our best since day one to focus on the user, and while we’ve learned a lot about Pro AV (especially through our success with the M4300 10Gb switches), we also know the importance of real-world feedback. So when we started developing our first 1Gb dedicated AV switch, we sat down with our Pro AV Council of expert integrators and consultants and asked for their thoughts. After all, these are the people who use our switches and recommend them to customers, so their opinions matter a lot. Armed with their input, we headed back to the lab. The result is the M4250 series.

Built from the ground up for 1Gb AV

The M4250 builds on the success of the popular M4300 10Gb switches, but it’s not just another switch that happens to be designed for 1Gb. Instead, it is part of our evolution in the AV market and the start of our new AV line, designed specifically for AV, with input from AV experts. The M4250 series has some stand-out features, particularly around its usability and fit-for-purpose design.

M4250 AV Line Switches

Nine reasons why the M4250 is ideal for AV

  1. Audio and video integration – Dante, Q-SYS, and AES67 profiles built-in for audio; NVX, SVSI, Q-SYS, NDI, Dante and more for video. The M4250 comes with robust support for Audio Video Bridging (AVB), with an electronic license available separately.
  2. Designed for AV – A sleek, black front panel blends seamlessly with other AV equipment and provides instant LED port status. And an all-new, web-based AV user interface allows quick and flexible configuration in AV language.
  3. Neat and attractive – All the cabling is at the back, which isn’t the case for IT switches. This makes for a unified and better-looking set-up in AV racks. If you want your ports in front, reverse rack mounting is made simple with recessed rack ears, which are included.
  4. AV mounting options – Threaded holes at the bottom and in the front provide a variety of mounting options outside the rack. Plus, the M4250 can be used to power AV equipment with up to 90 watts through Power over Ethernet (PoE), reducing the need for additional electrical cables.
  5. Affordable – Like all NETGEAR switches, the M4250 is designed to accommodate today’s SMB budgets while delivering true business-grade performance.
  6. Out-of-the-box, but customizable – The M4250 is pre-configured for audio and video; simply connect and go. If needed, there are multiple customization options, including VLANs and QoS.
  7. Mix-and-match for bigger installations – Mix with other NETGEAR switches in a star topology without having to worry about complex configuration.
  8. Flexible design – Enjoy anywhere from 8 to 48 ports with uplink 1G options for audio installations or standalone video installations as well as 10G uplinks for larger-scale video deployments. Plus 12-port multi-gigabit Ethernet and 16-port 1G/10G fiber models for plug-and-play aggregation in a star-topology.
  9. Dedicated pre-and-post sales AV support – The M4250 series comes with the NETGEAR ProSAFE Limited Lifetime Hardware Warranty, providing 90 days of technical support from the Pro AV NETGEAR Engineering Services team via phone and email. Access lifetime tech support through online chat and email, and enjoy next-day hardware replacement.

Today sees the launch of five switches in the M4250 switch series, marking the debut of the new NETGEAR AV Line. Of course, we’ll continue delivering switches ideal for IT and other applications, but we know AV over IP is going to be a big focus for our partners and their customers for a long time to come. That’s why now is the ideal time to introduce switches that are truly designed for AV.

Today NETGEAR has announced the expansion of its new series of AV Line AV over IP switches designed and purpose-built for the growing audio and video over IP (AV-over-IP) market. Dubbed the AV Line