WebTV was started as a convenient combination of both the World Wide Web and television. Founded in 1995, WebTV came as a box about the size of a VCR that promised to bring the affordable Internet to living rooms without the use of a PC. Though sales were slow, the company grew enough that Microsoft bought and rebranded it as MSN TV in 1997. But by that time, email and web-browsing on television (through dial-up, mind you) had become stale. The idea was there, but was too ahead of its time. Broadband wasn't widely available, and there wasn't enough "wow factor" to shell out $425 to check email on a TV. Today, we essentially have the functions of WebTV on devices like the Xbox 360 and DVRs.