The short answer to your question, Patricia, is to use an internal DVD
drive and a program such as Cyberlink PowerDVD to capture an image.  This
will generate an image file that is as good as one can get from
US-standard, NTSC video.  It never looks that great, but you can get quite
serviceable frame grabs this way.

I've put together a tutorial on frame grabbing and its use online and in
print as part of the companion Website for TELEVISION: CRITICAL METHODS AND

I hope it might answer some of your questions.


P.S.  A trial version of PowerDVD is available at

>Date:    Mon, 10 Feb 2003 12:47:24 -0500
>From:    Patty White <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: digital frame grabs
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii" ; format="flowed"
>I am interested in obtaining the highest quality still image from a
>digital source, either an external DVD or laser disc player or an
>internal DVD drive. Does it matter what  capture program is used and
>what platform? In what ways might the quality of the DVD affect the
>capture? What video settings/image sizes are optimal? Should the
>image be paused or captured "on the run"? What format/file type/color
>settings should the image be saved in to retain the most information
>for a publisher's art department to work with?
>I'm interested in people's experiences with this for publication
>purposes. Have any definitive specifications emerged for this process?
>Patricia White
>Associate Professor, English Literature
>Chair, Film and Media Studies

Jeremy Butler
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