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Whether you're a cord cutter, or just someone who likes to be more in control of the content you watch, streaming media boxes provide increasing variety and flexibility.

If, for example, you want HBO, but don't want to be tied to a cable provider to get it, you can sign up for HBO NOW on an Apple TV. Other content providers such as Vevo TV provide unique access to the world of music. And the list goes on.

media-device-comparison.jpg Dan Rayburn, executive vice president of, compares all of the current media devices including Apple TV and Roku 3 during this presentation at Streaming Media East.

But how do you know which OTT (Over the Top) device provides the services you want? I discovered an excellent resource at Streaming Media East in NYC. The Streaming Media Device Chart lists the features of all available boxes including Apple TV, Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV, and Xbox One. You get everything from ports, to protocols, to services supported - all in one place that is updated regularly.

And this will help you take better advantage of services or devices that you already have, but may be under utilizing. For example, HBO NOW is only available on Apple TV. Or, if you're an Amazon Prime member, you can buy a Fire TV Stick for $39 and watch hours of quality programming as part of your Prime membership.

The alternatives are getting better every day. You may want to investigate the services available and see what's a good fit for you.

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