Amnis Systems Teams With NDI Solutions for Live Streaming Distance Learning Network for Michigan Intermediate School District

March 2, 2001

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Amnis Systems Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AMNM – news; formerly Optivision, Inc.), a leading provider of networked streaming video products, today announced that it has teamed up with NDI Solutions, Inc., to deliver a broadcast quality live streaming Distance Learning Network to the Bay-Arenac Independent School District in Michigan. The groundbreaking deployment will connect 23 sites of the Intermediate School District over 121 miles of fiber optic backbone to provide thousands of students access to video titles on topics ranging from literature to computer skills. With its large size and technical sophistication, the project stands as a showcase for how educational institutions are maximizing their investment in private communication networks to improve student skills and knowledge.

“We looked at several technologies to help us unlock the educational power of our new network, and Amnis was the best quality, the simplest to install and use, plus the greatest value for our budget,” said Cliff DuPuy, Associate Director of Media & Technology for the Bay-Arenac Independent School District. “Amnis’ mpegStudio® Pro system provided us with a fast and easy way to convert our video tape library over to MPEG files, allowing us to stream video directly to the classrooms, instead of shipping tapes. And LivePlayer’s multicasting technology enabled us to extend our distance learning system to the desktop with broadcast quality video content. Best of all, connecting Amnis’ products to our Alcatel OmniSwitch network proved to be what ‘plug-and-play’ really means — seamless, with virtually no integration effort whatsoever.”

The Bay-Arenac Independent School District is a group of nine rural school districts in central Michigan that relies on Amnis technology to deliver daily distance education, staff development, and community education classes. To build the Bay-Arenac system, NDI used three Amnis products, including the NAC™-3002 Live Streaming Video Server, the VS-2311B mpegStudio Pro Video Encoding & Network Transport System and the LivePlayer™ version 1.2 Streaming Media Desktop Player. First, the mpegStudio Pro system is used to encode the extensive videotape course material library into MPEG-2 files, which are stored on the district’s Silicon Graphics/Kasenna server. Second, the NACs are used to stream live video feeds across the Bay-Arenac Alcatel fiber optic network. Third, students at the various campuses view the content on LivePlayer-equipped PC desktops while in class. LivePlayer is the industry’s first software-only live streaming playback system that enables institutions to receive, play, and record live, multi-cast and stored broadcast-quality video without modifying desktop PC hardware.

“The partnership and support that Amnis provides to us is essential to our success with the Bay-Arenac project,” said Steve Nilles, President of NDI Solutions, Inc., an independent VAR based in Oak Brook, Illinois. NDI provides fully integrated turnkey distance learning solutions to K-12 school districts, colleges and universities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. “Amnis goes to great lengths to ensure that their products are fully compatible with the network equipment, video file servers, control systems and software that we use every day to build our distance learning solutions. This level of interoperability enables us to build systems faster and better.”

The Bay-Arenac network will continue to grow in 2001 with Amnis products, including NAC-3000 Servers, NAC-4001 Receivers and LiveMap™ Management Software. This additional equipment will enable the district to extend their network’s capabilities to include interactive distance learning and conferencing capabilities to their student body and faculty.

“There is pent-up demand for broadcast quality streaming video in educational institutions and the enterprise,” said Michael Liccardo, Amnis chairman, president and CEO. “We see constant expansion of new applications for distance learning, training, content distribution, surveillance, telemedicine and video conferencing. The Bay-Arenac project represents a major new direction for secondary and higher education to enhance the ways students can learn, how faculty can improve communications and how administrators can increase effective management of their districts.”

About NDI Solutions, Inc.

NDI Solutions is a leading full-service provider of technology and professional services. Focusing primarily on the educational marketplace, NDI assists clients in the development and evaluation of vital technology plans and integrated solutions. NDI is the foremost authority on educational financial software from Specialized Data Systems, including product implementation, utilization, and training. For media and communications, NDI supplies network-based, broadcast quality applications for distance learning, content distribution, training, and video conferencing. More information is available at

About Amnis Systems Inc. (formerly Optivision, Inc.)

Amnis Systems Inc. is the dominant market leader in the networked streaming video market. The company develops, manufactures and delivers MPEG network video products for high-quality video creation, management and distribution worldwide both directly and through leading industry partners. Based in Palo Alto, California, Amnis products are used in diverse applications such as distance learning, corporate training, video courier services, telemedicine, surveillance and visual collaboration. For more information about Amnis Systems Inc., visit or visit, or phone 800-239-0600.

“Safe Harbor” statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the impact of competitive products and pricing, product demand and market acceptance, new product development, reliance on key strategic alliances, availability of raw materials, the regulatory environment, fluctuations in operating results and other risks detailed from time to time in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

NOTE: Optivision, NAC, LivePlayer, mpegNet, and VS-Pro are trademarks or registered trademarks of Optivision, Inc. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.