Looking for Input on the Onq / Legrand Unity Home Automation System.. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-08-2014, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for Input on the Onq / Legrand Unity Home Automation System..

Hi. I have been researching home automation systems and components and every time I check the different systems I come back to the Onq / Legrand Unity system.. I have looked online and from what I can tell I can get the full system for around 15k.. That would include:

  • 16 zones of music - each zone is equipped with high performance key pads / lcd displays having 2x20w output as well as non amplified subwoofer output
  • 16 intercom stations
  • 5 LCD displays throughout house (included in the 16 zones)
  • Built in Internet radio capability
  • Built in access to music storage
  • Remote web based access
  • Video Door Station
  • Patio Station
  • 5 outdoor cameras
  • Built in "Event" setup (for setting up music, lights, etc to come on)
  • Up to date weather display on all LCD's
  • Each zone equipped with local source input
  • Each zone equipped with 8inch in-ceiling speakers
  • Light control ready - will include the light control module and wireless switches for control over , however I plan on installing the light controls (wall switches) later on..
The system is overall what I am looking for.. The only downfalls are that it doesn't have fancy apps and it doesn't have touch screens.. The only other system that I have found that is similar is the Leviton Home Automation setup but it looks like there is programming involved with that system whereas the Unity system is plug and play.. The Leviton setup also appears to be a bit more expensive..


Anyway.. I was hoping to find some individuals who have had hands on experience with this system and could provide some input..
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-08-2014, 05:03 PM
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I always wonder what an automation system even means when you can't use those 8" speakers with the TV that's in the room.

Basically, it's a distributed audio system, that doesn't work with HDMI, or any of the newer HDMI enabled sources. So, you have something local for every TV in your home and no way to upgrade or leverage this 'automation' system against A/V.

Local amplification is a big no-no in my book as well. Most keypads on the market don't amplify at that keypad, so if you go this route, it will significantly limit your replacement options... Hopefully you won't ever need any, and hopefully Legrand will continue to support this specific product longer than companies like Russound support their products.

You will get the options which are included within the system. If those products meet your needs completely, then it may be an ideal product. Non-adjustable, non-changeable, but meeting your needs is all that matters. Very proprietary.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-09-2014, 06:12 AM
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Onq Unity is NOT automation. You will get what you pay for. If 15k is your budget and you would like a NICE intercom, a CRAPPY distributed audio, with some MEDIOCRE LCD displays, then Unity is for you. But keep in mind, this is not home automation and neither is the LEVITON stuff. There is a big difference between Home Automation and Home Control.

I suggest you post the features you want and the how you want to interface with them as well as how they function and you will get many replies of DIY solutions as well as dealer installed systems. Also post your budget as many of these systems may not fit it.

My system of choice is Control4, but it is a dealer installed system and would be much more than the 15k you could do Unity for.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-09-2014, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
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I appreciate the input but here are some of the issues i have with what you say..

1. You say that the Unity system is not home automation but then refer to the Control 4 system.. Ok.. Well what does the control 4 do that the Unity system doesnt?

Well just coming off the website the only thing I see that is different is that the Unity system does not do video distribution when compared to Control4.. You also have a more expandable ability when it comes to setting "Events" where you can lower the blinds and have the tv setup when you want to watch tv.. Everything else that Control4 will do (music, lighting, climate, security) the Unity system can also handle.. It is just not as "fancy" as the control4.. I will admit that the Control 4 setup gives off a higher end look and the output specs are probably higher, however when you look at the cost for such a system (i had priced out 55k) I ask if its worth the money when I could get pretty much the same effect from a unit that is 15k..

The other issue with control 4 is hte programming.. Anytime you want something changed with such a system you are talking about bringing out a programmer.. Initial setup for the system is 10k and that isnt included in the other 10k for wiring the system.. So 20k and you havn't even gotten into the system.. The control4 would be great if you didn't have to pay to have a specialized programmer involved.. The equipment would be about 20k which would be fine.. I could probably even push if it was just 10k for total installation.. but 55k is just too much..

Again though.. This isnt downplaying the Control4 or anything like that.. It looks like a great setup.. And honestly it all comes down to money.. If I could afford it I would.. But in my situation I could take the 55k and have a system like the Unity put in and also have a 40k left over to put a pool in the house..
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-09-2014, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearthisinc View Post
I appreciate the input but here are some of the issues i have with what you say..

1. You say that the Unity system is not home automation but then refer to the Control 4 system.. Ok.. Well what does the control 4 do that the Unity system doesnt?

Well just coming off the website the only thing I see that is different is that the Unity system does not do video distribution when compared to Control4.. You also have a more expandable ability when it comes to setting "Events" where you can lower the blinds and have the tv setup when you want to watch tv.. Everything else that Control4 will do (music, lighting, climate, security) the Unity system can also handle.. It is just not as "fancy" as the control4.. I will admit that the Control 4 setup gives off a higher end look and the output specs are probably higher, however when you look at the cost for such a system (i had priced out 55k) I ask if its worth the money when I could get pretty much the same effect from a unit that is 15k..

The other issue with control 4 is hte programming.. Anytime you want something changed with such a system you are talking about bringing out a programmer.. Initial setup for the system is 10k and that isnt included in the other 10k for wiring the system.. So 20k and you havn't even gotten into the system.. The control4 would be great if you didn't have to pay to have a specialized programmer involved.. The equipment would be about 20k which would be fine.. I could probably even push if it was just 10k for total installation.. but 55k is just too much..

Again though.. This isnt downplaying the Control4 or anything like that.. It looks like a great setup.. And honestly it all comes down to money.. If I could afford it I would.. But in my situation I could take the 55k and have a system like the Unity put in and also have a 40k left over to put a pool in the house..
I will chime in too. That is a lot for the money. But as said, you get what you pay for. You are not going to get any customization with the Legrand.

A great example, is pool control. I despise the pool controls from Jandy/Zodiac, Hayward, etc. The remote systems are slow and clunky and the touch are panels are not great either. So, we had a program added to our Crestron system. Designed how we want and for how we use the pool. Obviously, nothing even close to that with Legrand.

I doubt 2x20w from a keypad will give great sound. We use 12x65w amp. It will be okay for background music. For a outdoor pool party, I would be surprised if that wattage will be loud enough.

Lighting, well I would be cautious. I would be surprised if it can compare to a full system like Lutron HomeWorks or even RadioRa2. I dont particularly care for the dimmers and definitely not the "scene director" keypads which do not seem customizable and look fairly cheap. Again, will be limited in customization.

Finally, do you like the look of their lcd consoles? I don't at all but that is personal preference. Have you considered picking a more flexible, open system and expand as budget allows?
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-09-2014, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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A&M - thanks for the input.. I am not looking for any kind of crazy sound system for the house.. Mostly just looking for something to play when lounging around or when the wife is cleaning up.. Also thought it would be nice to have a sound system to play some holiday music when the family is over or during other social gatherings.. I guess this forum is perhaps for those into more higher end workings.. I will agree that the LCD's are not the greatest looking.. I wish they were just a touch screen lcd panel, however touch screens have their own issues that occur so for durability the Unity lcd's are good..

Besides that I really don't need all that much integration into the system for what I am looking for... For example I plan on putting in a pool, however I don't really need to have control over the pool from the Unity system.. When I saw the Unity system I really just saw a system that had the things I was looking for into one affordable package.. On top of that it was a system that was user friendly and didn't require a programmer to come out every time I wanted to add or change something..

The whole idea of having multi room audio actually came into play when my parents bought a home in Florida.. It actually came with an M&S Systems intercom/audio station which is pictured below.. That system is actually more then enough for what we are looking for.. It has a single speaker built into the unit and it is loud enough for the kitchen, family room, living room, and dining room in their house.. Granted that once you turn it all the way up its not the clearest, but even at low volumes it is enough to hear.. That is why I figured if that little speaker is enough for all of that then by doing audio zones in each of the prior mentioned rooms (kitchen, dining room, living room, and family room) even at 40watts per room it should be more then enough..

Last edited by fearthisinc; 07-09-2014 at 06:40 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-16-2014, 05:43 AM
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What makes C4 automation and Onq not is that C4 has conditional logic. A dealer has the ability to automate through programming variables. But it does sound like you don't have a need for that kind of product.

You were asking for advice so here it is. I would keep the Onq intercom as it is a fine product, but ditch the rest. Maybe use Nuvo for audio. It is a Legrand product and you wouldn't need a dealer. You would be able to use smart phone and tablet apps for control with Nuvo which is much sexier than the unity touch screens.

Sorry to say, but the Onq music distribution is a toy at best.

Good luck
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-16-2014, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ELECTRICDON View Post
What makes C4 automation and Onq not is that C4 has conditional logic. A dealer has the ability to automate through programming variables. But it does sound like you don't have a need for that kind of product.

You were asking for advice so here it is. I would keep the Onq intercom as it is a fine product, but ditch the rest. Maybe use Nuvo for audio. It is a Legrand product and you wouldn't need a dealer. You would be able to use smart phone and tablet apps for control with Nuvo which is much sexier than the unity touch screens.

Sorry to say, but the Onq music distribution is a toy at best.

Good luck
I appreciate the input.. And I have been looking at other options.. I would have preferred an "all in one" unit to control audio, lighting, door camera, etc.. That is why I was initially looking into the Unity and found that for my needs it was right where I wanted to be.. I will agree that the audio output was low, which is why I was looking at the high output version which gives 40 watts per zone.. I see the Nuvo does 80watts per zone.. I also just saw that the Nuvo can be controlled with the Leviton Omni controller which would give me touch screen displays with control of the audio and also incorporate cameras, lighting, etc.. The Nuvo is obviously a bit more expensive and will run about 9k for what I need and this will just cover the audio.. Again I have to look into this further.. I didn't need a killer sound system as the house is only a 2800 square foot home.. It is not some mansion with two story rooms or anything like that.. I just dont want go overkill on a system that I will not need.. With the open floor plan I figured the Unity would be more then enough, especially with having speakers in every room...
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