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Brian Krzanich on Why He Pulled the Plug on Intel's TV Dreams

Content is king and Intel didn't have any, Krzanich said in an interview.

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Last February, Intel announced it was getting into the Web TV business. Now it is trying to get out by selling off its Intel Media unit to Verizon.

What happened?

The short version is that Brian Krzanich became Intel’s CEO, and immediately became skeptical of the project’s chances.

Krzanich wouldn’t comment specifically on the Verizon talks (neither company has formally acknowledged the deal, which sources say should be announced soon). But he was happy to talk about the reason why the technology company is getting out of the media business so quickly. Basically, Intel had good technology, but good technology without content means little in the media business.

“When you go and play with the content guys, it’s all about volume. And we come at it with no background, no experience, no volume,” he said as part of a wide-ranging interview with Re/code.

If you want the long version, here are his full comments on the topic:

It’s actually a very good product, if you take a look at the hardware and the technology. We’ve said pretty repeatedly that the technology is quite good. I could get into the “hows” but it really does have a great user interface. This concept of having three days of everything that is on TV at your instantaneous access is really unique.

But at the end of the day, just like when you go home and watch TV, it’s all about content.

You could have the biggest screen, you could have the clearest screen. But if there is not great content on this thing, that big-screen TV is not a huge value to you, even though it has the best picture on the planet.

This device has the same set of issues. It is a great device and has great technology, but at the end of the day it’s about the content you get on there.

When you go and play with the content guys, it’s all about volume. And we come at it with no background, no experience, no volume. We were ramping from virtually zero and so what we’ve said is we are out looking for a partner that can help us scale that volume at a much quicker rate.

For more from Brian Krzanich, here’s the rest of the interview.

Krzanich will be among the speakers at our inaugural Code Conference, May 27-29 in Palos Verdes. For details on the event, including registration info, please visit our events page.

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