Unity combines popular stand-alone systems such as multi-room audio, lighting and temperature control, intercom, and cameras to produce one integrated home system. Unity is built on the plug-and-play functionality for which Legrand is known, and is the first system of its kind to give home buyers an affordable home system option previously reserved for the luxury market.
Unity is the newest component of the Studio Collection – a group of products inspired by contemporary design trends from around the world. These products combine innovative functionality with elegant style to bring enhanced value to the homeowner through increased convenience and attractive design. The Unity Home System integrates the components of the Studio Collection to form the ultimate home system.
Initially released in November 2009 with audio, intercom, and camera functionality, Unity has expanded and added new features to match consumers’ lifestyles. Recent upgrades have added local weather information, lighting control, event timers for home automation with an extremely easy-to-use setup wizard, and a music upgrade that provides better integration with iTunes and Windows Media files.
The IP camera upgrade is provided as a free upgrade to the Unity 2.3.software. After upgrading or installing a new Unity system, any camera on the Unity system can be viewed as an IP camera. The in-home user always retains ultimate control over the image, however, so that only those cameras that are wanted to be available over the Internet (with password protection) are accessible.
For example, while travelling a homeowner can check in on the living room to see how the pets are doing, or simply for peace of mind. A parent at work or out for the evening can see how things are going with the kids back at home. Homeowners can even see who has visited their front door (or any other door) over the course of a day or week.
The Unity system may be expanded to incorporate up to four cameras, including one at the front door intercom. Convenient viewing applications for PC/Mac, iPhone, Android and Blackberry enable easy switching between cameras in the Unity equipped home. These viewing applications automatically adjust camera frame rates, so the system always provides home owners with the best possible image quality for the available connection speed.
How It Works
Unity’s liquid crystal display (LCD) is the homeowner’s point of interaction. It includes an easy-to-use but powerful graphical user interface (GUI) which enables control of the home system – intercom, audio, camera, lighting, event settings and weather gauge – at the touch of a button. The GUI is displayed on a high performance screen and operates similar to a cell phone or iPod, with simple, menu-driven navigation.
An integration module houses the “brains” behind the system, and includes convenient RJ45 connections for audio, intercom, and camera systems. It not only facilitates direct connections between these systems, it enhances existing systems to deliver additional functionality. For example, when Legrand’s Selective Call Intercom system is connected to the Integration Module, users are able to leave messages for family members in select rooms, or set up alarms and wake up calls throughout the house or in specific rooms. Unity also enables the intercom system to work with a Legrand camera system to perform automatic camera viewing via the LCD screen when the door button is pressed.
A typical Unity system would include four rooms of intercom, four zones of audio, and one camera. It would also include one LCD Console or TV Display Interface, both of which enable convenient system interaction via graphical user interfaces. This standard system can also be expanded to accommodate a system of up to 32 rooms of intercom, eight zones of audio, four cameras, two LCD Consoles, and up to 16 TV Display Interfaces.
Based on standard Cat 5 wiring, Unity is surprisingly easy to install. It features RJ45 connections and does not require complicated programming like higher-end home automation systems. Instead, it uses On-Q’s plug-and-play functionality to enable easy, one-person installation and provide significant time and cost savings for the installer.
“We live in a world where smart applications have given people new freedoms and mobility,” said Dave Hanchette, vice president of marketing for the Home Systems Division of Legrand, North America. “This new IP camera feature for our Unity system allows people who are on the go to stay connected with their homes even while they’re away. They can worry less about separate home functions and establish a genuine level of peace and comfort regardless of location.”
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