There are two versions of the site available, a rich media version designed for users with recent-model computers and high-speed Internet connections (cable modem, DSL, T-1, or better), and a low-bandwidth version for users with older computers and slower, dial-up modems.
The rich-media version of Commanding Heights Online includes video chapters with synchronized enhancements and an interactive atlas of history (the Time-Map) linked to 41 separate interactive, multi-year country reports. This rich interactivity makes substantial demands on your computer and its connection to the Internet. Apple's QuickTime media player (Version 5.0.2 or later) is needed to run the rich-media version on your PC or Macintosh.
The text-friendly low-bandwidth version includes all the text, images, and graphs available on the rich-media version, but displays the information in common Web pages. It also includes the video, but without the synchronized enhancements. The low-bandwidth site video is available in a choice of three player formats: Real Media (G2 or later), Windows Media (7 or later), and QuickTime 4. Links to related content for each chapter are available from each episode chapter menu.
The broadband and low-bandwidth versions of the site are easily accessible from each other as long as your computer is equipped to handle both. (For complete technical requirements, see "Technology Specifications for the Rich-Media [Broadband] Version" below.) The upper right corner of every full-size browser page of the site contains a link to its mirror page in the other version. You can experiment by trying the crossover link in the upper right corner of this page.
While both versions of the site include high-quality streaming-media versions of the complete video program, the size of the video image in both versions is limited. For presentation to large groups, some users may prefer to order a DVD or VHS cassette version of the series and use those in class along with related materials on the site.