Distance Education Computer Requirements

Participation in the Acoustics Distance Education Program requires the student to have and maintain specific minimum hardware and software systems. Although participants may have systems that are greater than that required, systems deficient in any one or more requirements are not acceptable. More advanced systems may result in a better visual for the student.

The Graduate Program in Acoustics courses will be streamed using Adobe Acrobat Connect (formerly Macromedia Breeze). If you are interested in enrolling in any of our courses, please read on to make sure your computer is capable of receiving the streams before you register for classes.


  • Streaming live and archived classes
  • Two-way audio and video interaction with the instructor
  • Real time chat room during live class
  • Shared control of the slides for on-line student presentations
  • Web Board for messages and class materials (notes, homework sets, etc.)

Computer Hardware and Browser Requirements:

  • Supported Operating Systems: Microsoft Windows Vista (any edition, 32-bit), Windows XP with Service Pack 2, Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4, MAC OS X v 10.4, 10.5
  • Windows Browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later, Mozilla Firfox 1.x, 2.x
  • Mac Browsers: Mozilla Firefox, 2.x
  • Windows Hardware Requirements: Intel Pentium II 450 MHz or faster processor, or equivalent, 256 MB of RAM
  • MAC Hardware Requirements: PowerPC G3 500MHz or faster or Intel Core (TM) Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor, 256 MB of RAM
  • Solaris or Linux Requirements: Contact Technical Support
  • Internet Connection Requirements: Reliable and consistent cable modem, ISDN/DSL @ 250K or better, T1, etc. Connection must sustain a 250 kbps downstream rate.
  • Additional Requirements: Minimum screen resolution of 1024 x 768, Adobe Flash Player 8 or later (newest version recommended), Voice communication requires a computer microphone (a combination microphone headset is recommended)

For audio and video communication with the instructor, and the rest of the class, you will need to connect and enable a microphone and a webcam in your computer. We strongly recommend the use of headphones while viewing the live presentations to avoid audio feedback to the instructor’s computer.

To find out if your computer will be capable of receiving Distance Education classes you can go to Adobe’s demo presentation and click on the “See the Demo” button on the right. The actual content of our Distance Education courses will be very similar to what is shown in this demo.

Installation Adobe Flash Player

If your computer has Flash Player installed already, and you can view Flash content from the internet, you do not need to install any additional software. Please go to Adobe’s demo presentation to make sure you can receive the audio/video streams to your computer.

In order to participate in the Distance Education program the latest version of Adobe Flash Player is recommended. You can verify the version of your Flash Player by right-clicking in any Flash player content and confirming that the pop-up menu reads “About Flash Player 8” or a later version. If you have not installed Flash Player yet, click here to get the latest version.


NOTE: You use ANY and ALL information provided from the following web sites at your own risk. The Pennsylvania State University assumes no responsibility if you use any of the suggestions provided below.

  1. Verify your installation in the section above is correct.
  2. If the video stream is not running when you logon for a live class refresh the page (F5)
  3. The most common issue why you can not connect are firewalls and proxy servers.

Firewalls and Proxy Servers

The Acoustics Adobe Acrobat Connect server is behind a firewall, however, all necessary ports for web and streaming are open. Minimally, you must have ports 80, 8080 and 1935 (TCP protocol) open in your firewall and/or proxy server for HTTP. Have your IT department verify your firewall connections if you have problems. Here are a few links to help your IT department.

Network Connectivity Verification

www.dslreports.com/stest is an excellent site tool to test your connection speed to and from the internet. This test will show your connection speed. It will not indicate network congestions to your computer at various times during the day. It is a snapshot view at the time you run your test.

www.analogx.com/contents/download/network/nsl.htm is another site tool to test and track the connectivity and network of your PC.



Founded in 1965, Penn State's Graduate Program in Acoustics has become the leading resource for graduate education in acoustics in the United States. The interdisciplinary program leads to the degrees: Master of Engineering in Acoustics (M.Eng.), Master of Science in Acoustics (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy in Acoustics (Ph.D.)

Graduate Program in Acoustics

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

201 Applied Science Building

University Park, PA 16802