Macintosh TV (1993)
Back in the 1990s, technology companies were still trying to figure out exactly where the lines would be drawn between personal computers and entertainment devices. Graphical user interfaces had taken over, the CD-ROM was gaining traction, and the nascent World Wide Web was promising to change the way we communicated online.
Into this era came numerous attempts at all-in-one “media hub” computers that envisioned a world where the PC and the television set would overlap. Apple’s answer to this was the ill-fated “Macintosh TV,” a multimedia machine that it hoped would make the Mac more cool and approachable.
As a concept, it was a great idea — take a beige Macintosh LC 520, paint it black, and toss in a TV tuner card and remote. It failed miserably in its execution, however, since Apple capped it at only 8MB of RAM at a time when other Macs could go up to 32MB, and gave it a slower system bus as well. There was also no standard video output, and no picture-in-picture support.
Combined with the $2,099 starting price (~$4,000 today), this made the Macintosh TV a really hard sell. Most customers realized they could just buy a beige Mac and a standalone TV for far less and end up with a more versatile setup where they could actually watch TV and use their Mac at the same time. The Macintosh TV lasted about five months before Apple pulled it off the shelves.