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Accsoon has announced the CineEye 2, a follow up to the original CineEye that was announced at NAB 2019. The CineEye 2 keeps the same concept as the original Cine Eye but gains increased range, lower latency, and an HDMI loop-through output

The original CineEye was a big hit with budget filmmakers as it allowed you to stream an HDMI signal directly to smartphones and tablets through Wi-fi. At $249 USD it was arguably the first budget-friendly way of viewing wireless video on multiple devices. Above you can see our video report from NAB 2019.

What’s new?

The Accsoon CineEye 2 is a second-generation, compact transmitter that simultaneously transmits up to a 1080p60 video signal from an HDMI source to four iOS/Android mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Improvements include a longer transmission distance of 150m (492)’, a lower latency of 20 ms, a choice of up to 20 wireless channels, power via an L-series battery, and the addition of an HDMI loop output to add an additional monitor that can be daisy-chained to other monitors.

Accsoon has been busy

Accsoon also recently released the CineEye 2 Pro which I reviewed. The CineEye 2 Pro is quite a lot larger than the original CineEye. The CineEye 2 Pro more closely resembles a traditional wireless video transmission system, than a Wi-fi based system.

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Instead of there just being a transmitter, the CineEye 2 Pro consists of both a transmitter and a receiver. This way you can use the system to either transmit to iOS or Android devices or/and to the receiver unit which can output an HDMI signal to a monitor, etc.

So let’s check out the CineEye 2.

Key features

  • Transmits up to a 1080p60 signal to four iOS/Android devices simultaneously over 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Full-size HDMI type A input and HDMI loop output that supports monitor daisy-chaining
  • USB Type-C camera control port
  • Up to 492′ line-of-sight transmission
  • CineEye iOS/Android app with features such as false color, peaking, zebra, histogram, and 3D LUT support
  • Power with external source via DC input or with L-series battery plate
  • Very low latency (20ms)
  • High-quality audio transmission
  • Camera Control supported ( requires separate cable)
  • P1.3 inch OLED display
  • Firmware upgradeable (via App)
  • Foldable antennas and compact size
  • Very low power consumption

Size & Design

The CineEye 2 features a similar form factor to the original CineEye, however, it has been modernized and improved with a new housing and an OLED screen.

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The CineEye 2 weighs in at 250 g / 8.8 oz and it has physical dimensions of 10.5 x 6.85 x 3 cm / 4.1 x 2.7 x 1.2″. The original CineEye weighs 178 g / 6.27 oz and it has physical dimensions of 9 x 6.3 x 2.1 cm / 3.54 x 2.48 x 0.83″.

This makes the CineEye 2 slightly larger and heavier than the original CineEye, but not by much. You do, however, have to factor in that adding a Sony NP-F style battery is going to add a lot more weight and create a lot larger footprint.

Above you can see how it compares in size to the Hollyland Mars X.

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This additional weight and footprint are going to make the CineEye 2 feel quite big on small-sized mirrorless hybrid cameras. Above you can see how much space it takes up on the Panasonic S1H, which is a large mirrorless hybrid.

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The CineEye 2 gets the same exact 1.3″ OLED screen that can be found on the CineEye 2 Pro.

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Accsoon has stuck with the same folding antenna design that they utilized with the original CineEye.

I personally like the new design and the built-in OLED screen is a welcome addition.

Concept

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The CineEye 2 is aimed at the exact same segment of the market as the original CineEye. It was only a few years ago where wireless video systems were still expensive. Even the most basic of systems could empty your wallet. In the last year or so, affordable HDMI wireless video systems have been popping up everywhere and now more people than ever have access to it.

The CineEye 2 is aimed primarily at budget filmmakers and those shooters using mirrorless hybrids and small-sized digital cinema cameras. In saying that, there is no reason why this product couldn’t be used by anyone. at any level.

Build Quality

The CineEye 2 is a lot more robustly made than the original CineEye. It feels a lot more solid and a lot of that has to do with the hard metal enclosure.

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The buttons and dials feel reasonably solid and there is nothing that I can see that concerns me.

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The HDMI ports aren’t countersunk, so there is always going to be a chance of the connectors getting damaged or broken.

What do you get?

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The CineEye 2 comes with the TX unit, user manual, and 1x cold shoe mount.

Transmission

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The CineEye 2 can send up to 1080p60 over 5 GHz Wi-Fi.

The CineEye 2 will automatically find a clean channel before the transmission starts, and as the distance increases will automatically lower the streaming bit rate to maintain real-time monitoring. CineEye also allows you to manually select from 20 5 GHz transmission channels. The 5 GHz Wi-Fi signal is more resistant to interference than standard Wi-Fi.

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One transmitter can stream to up to four iOS or Android devices. You can use a combination of Android or iOS devices, as long as you aren’t using any more than four. The original CineEye was also capable of streaming to four devices at once.

The CineEye 2 uses HEVC compression and it can send video signals up to 1080 60p.

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There is a Data Rate Setting that you can adjust on the TX unit. There are three different modes you can choose from:

  • High-Quality Mode
  • Normal Mode (default setting)
  • Speed Mode
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You can select from a range of different operating channels or just set the TX unit to Automatic channel selection.

Extended Range

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The original Accsoon CineEye also utilized 5 GHz Wi-Fi and it had a claimed range of up to 328 feet (99.97m) line of sight with a latency of approximately 60ms. The CineEye 2 has a claimed range of up to up to 500 feet (150m), which is a reasonable upgrade over the original.

Accsoon claims that the latency on the CineEye 2 Pro is (20ms) which if it is true, is the quite an improvement over the original CineEye. In reality, usually this latency is a lot higher than is usually quoted by manufacturers. You also need to factor in the HDMI delay from the camera you are using. Some cameras have worse latency than others.

I will test both of these facets of the system further down in the review.

Operating Interface

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The screen is nice and big and it lets you see key information clearly.

The boot-up time is very slow for this device. It takes 20 seconds from the time you turn on the TX unit until it comes up on the main screen.

The menu system is very easy to navigate and for making changes.

HDMI IN & HDMI OUT (Loop Through)

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Unlike the original CineEye that only had a single HDMI input, the CineEye 2 has an HDMI input (full-sized) as well as an HDMI output. This allows you to loop a signal through which is important if you are also running a monitor, monitor/recorder, or an EVF.

How is it powered?

The CineEye 2 is powered via a single Sony NP-F style battery. According to the company, a Sony NP-F970 battery can power the unit for up to 14 hours. I found the battery performance to be good.

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You can also choose to power the unit through the DC input (7.4V to 8V) if need be. If you are inputting a 7.4V to 8V DC signal you can also run a battery and then hot swap that battery without the unit turning off.

The original CineEye runs on a built-in battery that gave you approximately four hours of run time. It was rechargeable via a standard 5V/2A USB charger.

iOS & Android App

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If you are streaming to an iOS or Android device, you can use the Accsoon App to monitor your wireless stream. The App features a lot of functionality and monitoring tools such as focus assist, waveform, false color, zebras, in-app audio and video recording, as well as the ability to load up your own 3D LUTs.

It is fairly easy to set up and get the app running. You just launch the app, turn on the TX unit (making sure it is receiving a signal from the camera) and join the CineEye2 Wi-Fi network.

More on how it actually performs later on in the review.

Camera Control

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If you are using the Accsoon App for iOS or Android you can also control the start/stop recording of certain cameras. According to Accsoon, the CineEye 2 will work with the following cameras:

  • Canon EOS R
  • Fuji XT-3
  • Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
  • Sony a9
  • Panasonic GH5/GH5S
  • Panasonic S1H
  • Nikon Z6
  • Nikon Z7

Now, there is a catch, you need to purchase an optional camera control cable to be able to utilize this functionality. Accsoon didn’t supply any camera cables so I wasn’t able to try this feature out.

Mounting Points

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Accsoon only gives you a single 1/4 20″ mounting hole on the bottom of the TX.

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The system comes with a cold shoe to 1/4 20″ mount. This is reasonably well made, however, because there is only a single mounting hole on the bottom of the TX it can limit where you can place it on your camera. If you want to mount the TX in another position you would have to use a monitor arm or something similar.

Accsoon Go App Usability

The app features some nice functionality, however, like most app-based monitoring systems, there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.



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