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microGrabber - 4-Channel Video Capture and Overlay Controller for mini PCI

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The microGrabber is a 4-channel video capture and overlay controller on a single Type-III mini PCI module providing a simple solution for capturing four concurrent analog video inputs for local system display or software analysis and processing. The microGrabber allows each of the 4 video channels to be captured at full D1 size, all at full frame rate and then scaled, cropped and positioned under software control. In addition to the video capture, the microGrabber also provides capture of up to 4 mono audio sources. The captured video data can be streamed continuously to system memory for immediate local display or further processing. The capture engine of the microGrabber features hardware color space conversion to present the captured video data in the format best suited to the end application.



  • Supports 4 NTSC / RS-170, PAL / CCIR, SECAM analog video sources
  • 4 x D1 size image capture at full frame rate
  • 4 channel audio encoder
  • Arbitrary video window sizing, cropping and scaling
  • Windows DirectShow/DirectDraw support
  • Linux Video4Linux support
  • Low power Type IIIB mini PCI form factor
  • Operating temperature: 0°C to +60°C or -40°C to +85°C

Software Development Kits

The microGrabber is supported by comprehensive and well supported software development kits (SDKs) for video capture and windowing. The SDKs are designed to significantly reduce development time in Windows, Linux and QNX environments and include support libraries, drivers and example applications to help developers fully utilize the microGrabber features in complex frame grabber applications.

Block Diagram

Block Diagram

Example Video Capture Modes

Mini PCI Bus Interface

  • Type III mini PCI card
  • 132MBytes/sec bandwidth at 33.33 MHz bus speed
  • Live video capture to display, memory or disk

Analog Video Input

  • Up to 4 concurrent composite PAL or NTSC video input channels
  • Four 10-bit Analog-to-Digital converters
  • Anti-aliasing filters on inputs

Video Input Formats

  • NTSC-M, NTSC-Japan, NTSC (4.43), RS-170

Video Input Adjustments

  • Contrast (or luma gain) adjustable from 0 - 255% of original
  • Saturation (or chroma gain) adjustable from 0 - 200% of original
  • Hue (or chroma phase) adjustable from -36° to +36°
  • Brightness (or luma level) can be adjusted from -128 to 127
  • Software adjustable Sharpness, Gamma and noise suppression

Video Capture Formats

  • RGB
  • YCbCr 4:2:2
  • YCbCr 4:1:1

Audio Inputs

  • 4 mono audio inputs
  • 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter per channel

Audio Capture Format

  • 8-bit PCM

Video Processing

  • Arbitrary sizing, cropping, scaling of each video channel

System Requirements

  • x86 PC-Compatible Host Computer
  • Mini PCI type III slot
  • PCI or AGP Display (if Video Preview to host is required)


  • Single +3.3V supply
  • Operating temp 0°C to 60°C
  • Operating temp -40°C to +85°C (extended temp option)
  • Mini PCI type IIIB form factor

Software Drivers

  • Drivers for Windows XP, Linux
  • Sample video overlay and capture application in C/C++ source code

The following order codes can be used when ordering the microGrabber

microGrabber - Video Capture and Overlay Controller (0 to 60°C)
microGrabber-Ext - Video Capture and Overlay Controller (-40°C to +85°C)

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