What is a Frame Grabber?

A Frame Grabber is an computer accessory that usually takes the form of an electronic circuit board that plugs into the motherboard of a Personal Computer. The purpose of a frame grabber is to capture images from a camera and put those images in the host memory of the PC. There are may different standards for transmitting images between a camera and a Frame Grabber. These standards include everything from analog low resolution RS-170 (basically TV from the beginning of the 20th century through very high speed digital serial standards transmitted over copper or fiber. The purpose of the Frame Grabber is the same, acquire images from the camera and make them available to programs running on the PC. Frame Grabbers can also control the cameras (depending on the interconnect standard) and interact electrically with the environment though various I/O signals.