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frame grabber

A device that digitizes the current video frame into a single, bitmapped still image. Frame grabbers can be stand-alone devices that plug into a port on the computer or a function built into the graphics card. See display adapter and frame buffer.

Snappy Frame Grabber
An early frame grabber, Snappy plugged into the PC's parallel port, and a camcorder or VCR plugged into Snappy. This software control panel was used to adjust the image and preview the results. Clicking "Snap" took the picture. (Screen shot courtesy of Play Inc.)

GrabIT Frame Grabber
GrabIT used an optional six-frame video capture that made it easier to grab just the right moment from a choice of six images, each a couple of seconds apart. (Screen shot courtesy of AIMS Lab.)

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