Neal Page, co-founder of Inlet Technologies and one of the pioneers in the field of video compression technology, has died.

Page passed away on Monday night after a battle against leukemia.

“It is with a very sad heart that I have to pass along the news that Neal Page passed away peacefully,” wrote John Bishop, Inlet’s co-founder and senior vice president for strategy and business development.

“Neal was very fortunate to know what he was up against with his disease and he used his limited time to spend it on the things he was most passionate about: family, friends, Inlet and of course cars,” he added.

According to Bishop, Page, 50, was diagnosed last summer with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Page had raced sailboats for several years to help raise money for leukemia research. His father also battled leukemia, Page told TechJournal South in a 2007 interview.

“For those of you that did not know Neal Page you missed the opportunity to meet one of the most genuine, honest, and friendly people you can encounter,” Bishop wrote in a blog about his friend and colleague. “Neal and I worked together for over 10 years but he was much more than a business partner to me. Neal is a best friend, a mentor, a leader and an inspiration.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Page has long been acknowledged as one of the leaders in video and audio compression technology not only for use over the Internet but also for live TV broadcasts and also by movie studios. has worked for years with Microsoft as well as numerous Hollywood and entertainment companies. More recently, Inlet also became actively involved in live sports broadcasts with Major League Baseball and others.

When Business 2.0 magazine visited the Triangle, it selected Page as one of the “Disruptors” in the technology industry.

Capitol Broadcasting, the parent firm of Local Tech Wire, is an Inlet investor.

“He will be missed,” Jimmy Goodmon, vice president and general manager of Capitol’s New Media group, told Local Tech Wire.

“When we invested in Inlet as the original angel it was Neal who impressed me so much and who ultimately convinced me that we should invest in his start up,” Goodmon added. “He has left a strong management team and board in place to watch after Inlet.”

In a statement, Inlet chairman Don Bossi, a general partner with Technology Venture Partners, also praised Page.

“Neal’s contributions to Inlet, its customers, partners, and employees are countless,” he said. “Neal had a gift for using his humble spirit and strength of character to bring his visions of success to fruition. Under his guidance, Inlet has developed a strong leadership team that has helped grow the company and remains committed to sustaining Neal’s vision of technology leadership and operational excellence well into the future.”

Inlet, which launched in 2003, raised more than $20 million in venture capital under Page’s direction. The company most recently worked with the Indy racing League for a live web cast of the Indy 500 that included a wide variety of interactive features for viewers.

Using patented technology for both video and data compression, Inlet recently launched an automated tool for encoding and transcoding of video and data. The product, called Armada, won an award at the National Association of Broadcasters convention earlier this year.

Page had more than 20 years of experience in video, imaging and computer graphics development. He founded Osprey Technologies in 1994. It is now part of ViewCast.

The challenge of delivering video and audio over the Internet led Page to help develop solutions at Osprey that were used by net video pioneer RealNetworks in 1997.

Page , Bishop and Chief Technology Officer Scott Labrozzi formed Inlet in 2003, developing proprietary technology that now enables sophisticated compression of digital content – especially bit-hungry high definition.

"We are bringing new technology with secret sauce, but we are offering it based on industry standards," Page said in a 2004 interview. "We enable companies to deliver quality video across networks to devices ranging from handheld to broadband high-definition."

Earlier in his career, Page worked at Sun Microsystems, General Electric and Data general.

Page graduated with undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering from North Carolina State University. He also completed the executive program at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Page is survived by four children, his mother and sister.