Best Short Throw Projector For Home Theater (Top 5 Reviewed)


Best Short Throw Projector For Home Theater

“Man! I have a small room. I can’t install a home theatre in it”, is now the talk of the pask. Oh! Sorry, past not pask.

Good, God! I just wanted to rhyme it.

Why the talk of the past? Because the short throw projectors have changed everything now.

If your room is 10 to 20ft in length then you can easily install this projector. This type of projector can throw an image of 100 inches from a distance of just 4 to 15ft away from the screen.

This projector can fit in a very small room and will still give you 4K image quality. Short throw projectors have revolutionized the home theatre industry and now many small homeowners can have a professional theater room too.

If you want to save more space in your theatre room then you can try in-wall speakers as well. Read my review for in-wall speakers for that.

This 4 to 15ft of throw distance is very less as compared to long throw projectors. I know this because I am 6 feet and I measured my room by crawling like a caterpillar from the screen to the projector location.

But if you don’t want to utilize my height then you can go and try a more expensive method by buying a $3 measuring tape.

I have bought many projectors for my business, installed them for my clients, and tested them out in my friends’ houses. That’s why I have enough experience to educate you about them.

Let’s start discussing each one.

ProjectorsImage Size (Take as a sample)Throw DistancePixels per frameRatingsJump To Details On This PageToday’s Best Deals
Sony VW325ES – Best For Native 4k100 inches13.6 Foot8.8 Million4.9Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
BenQ HT3550 – Best For Fantastic Contrast100 inches8.2 Foot8.3 Million4.8Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
LG HU70LA – Best for WebOS Interface100 inches9.7 Foot8.3 Million4.6Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Optoma UHD35 – Best For 4K Gaming100 inches11. 4 Foot8.3 Million4.3Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Epson Home Cinema 5050UB – Best For Ultra Blacks100 inches13.2 Foot4.2 Million4.2Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Optoma GT1090HDR – Best For 1080p100 inches3.6 Foot2 Million3.8Read HereCheck Price On AmazonOpens in a new tab.
Table Of Contents - Click To Read Your Desired show

Sony VW325ES – Best For Native 4k

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Specifications

HD Capability: Yes, Native 4K with HDR enhancer | Image Size: 150 inches | 3D Compatibility: Yes | Connectivity: HDMI, LAN | Brightness: 1500 lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: None. None means they are not supported natively by the interface but can be streamed from the connected device

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Incredible contrast between the blacks and whites
  2. Nice brightness, delivering more than actual numbers
  3. Top of the art processor and imagers
  4. Motion flow control for fast-moving objects in the video
  5. True 4K imaging with 8.8 million pixels
  6. It can pixel shift 1080p content to 4K too
  7. Lifelike 3D experience
  8. Natural colors and skin tone
  9. Remote is backlit and convenient to use

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Very heavy and huge
  2. Expensive
  3. Needs two guys for unboxing and handling
  4. Need professional installing
  5. Power-hungry projector

Who Is It For?

For those who want the best short-throw projector with a Native 4K chip.

This is the best projector because of its LCoS display chip and X1 Sony processor. 

Here comes a little boring technical explanation but hold tight because it is short.

This display chip has 3 imagers, one imager for each color in the tri-color group red, green, and blue.

These 3 imagers create the image with 8.8 million pixels per frame. Each frame of this image goes through the Sony X1 processor. 

Now, this processor is Dynamic HDR enhancer enabled. 

What does this HDR enhancer do to the image? 

Well, it keeps the bright and dark areas of the image in balance. The colors of the image don’t wash out due to the bright or dark areas of the image. It gave a nice natural colors vibes to the overall image and natural skin tones to the human faces.

Now, I can see a wide range of yellow color shades in an image of a garden full of yellow flowers. While on the brandless and cheaper projector, I have only seen yellow color and not a wide range of its shades. I was missing a lot of colors before.

This processor is also capable of motion flow control. Now the pixels on my screen don’t break up due to the fast-moving objects in the video. I am enjoying my favorite rugby matches more than before.

On the one side of the projector, there is a power on and off and menu button and at the other end, it has the input options like LAN and 2 HDMI ports. I will only talk about LAN, HDMI, and audio out inputs and outputs because these can be used for home cinema.

I installed this projector in my client’s theatre room. With the wide lens with the zoom feature,  it was very easy to adjust the image on the screen. The preset out-of-the-box color mode by sony just hit my client right. I was able to enjoy the 4K movies after 15 minutes of unboxing.

But my client did not want me to mess with the preset color mood because he didn’t want me to play with it. It’s Ok sometimes my clients don’t believe in my professionalism. LOL!

The movie experience was amazing with native 4K and natural colors. However, the input lag for the gaming was not impressive. It is 36ms, Which is not the best but still a good one for 4K gaming.

I liked it so much that I installed one for myself too. I am enjoying the 3D experience more than before because everything is life-like.

You should have a pro-quality of preamp/processor to have the best audio-video experienceOpens in a new tab.. Read my review about it.

Build

The build quality is sturdy and premium. But we would love it more if Sony provided WIFI compatibility at this price.

Throw Ratio

It can project a 100-inch screen from a 13.6 Ft distance. This amount of throw ratio is very good but not the best. I give this projector the first position because of its overall quality. There are better throw ratio projectors on this list.

Brightness

Don’t judge the brightness of it by the number of its lumens. It has 1500 lumens brightness but still, it is brighter than a lot of 20000 lumens projectors. Because the X1 processor is very capable.

Picture Quality

The colors and skin tone is natural in the picture. I have witnessed many shades of yellow color in the garden of yellow flowers in the image. 

The original colors were there and were not washed out.

There was no pixel shredding in the image even after watching it from very close.

You must have the best viewing distance for picture qualityOpens in a new tab.. Read my guide about it how to pick the sweet spot.

Lamp Life

The 6000 Hours is not impressive. I was expecting more than 15000 Hours by Sony.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

  1. Native 4K
  2. Motion Flow control
  3. HDR enhancer
  4. Powerful X1 processor

BenQ HT3550 – Best For Fantastic Contrast

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Specifications

HD Capability: True 4K by pixel shifting | Image Size: 150 inches | 3D Compatibility: Yes | Connectivity: HDMI, USB, and optical audio out | Brightness: 2000 lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: Yes, many due to Android TV

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. State of the art contrast
  2. Deep blacks and natural whites
  3. True 4K with 8.3 million pixels per frame
  4. Optical audio output available
  5. Android TV with apps and games from Playstore
  6. Voice command assistant

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Netflix is not natively supported needed a PC or Laptop for that
  2. No LAN to control it remotely
  3. Still has little light leakage to the wall. The opaque (4K projector) sticker in front of the lens is there to stop the light leakage but the issue is still there in a small amount.
  4. The input lag of 50ms is terrible for pro-gamers

Who Is It For?

For those who want deeper blacks and natural whites.

It is the true 4K projector and has 8.3 million pixels per frame. Its one variant comes with Android TV as well.

Its contrast is amazing between the whites and blacks. Because it has a dynamic Iris feature.

Due to this feature, the lens opens wide for white images and opens narrow for black images. And due to this process, we get natural-looking whites and deeper blacks with high brightness.

This dynamic Iris keeps the image bright without washing out the colors.

At the top behind the sliding door, It has a lens shift and zoom wheel button. It has automatic Keystone adjustment. So if you tilt it up or down then you don’t need to adjust the keystone because it will adjust itself automatically.

Close to this sliding door, it has the buttons for the control panel.

At the back, it has input and output options. It has two HDMI inputs and one USB/flash drive reader. It has one optical and one analog audio out.

My friend has this in his theatre room because he loves Android TV. I wanted to try it out if it can truly satisfy the hype.

The android TV was amazing, I was able to use tonnes of streaming apps and games from the Google Play Store. But it was not supporting Netflix but for that, it should be connected to a PC or laptop via HDMI to stream Netflix.

The colors were natural, blacks were deeper, and whites were accurate. The dynamic Iris really brought a change in the image.

The pixels on the frame were tiny and were invisible even when I was close to the screen.

I enjoyed playing games on it but its input lag for pro-gamers is terrible. The input lag is 50ms and this is very high for pro-gamers.

You can have the best speakers to go withOpens in a new tab. it. Read my review about it because it will give the best theater experience.

Build

The build quality is solid and the design is cute. The front of it always makes me happy when looking into it. Like my grandma looks into me when I do something exciting.

I love that they have provided the optical audio out with this projector.

Throw Ratio

It can throw a 100-inch image from just 8.2 ft away from the screen. This throw ratio is very good. It can fit in a very small theater room.

Brightness

The brightness is really good at 2000 lumens. The dynamic Iris is keeping the blacks deeper at this brightness. 

But when I use the wide color gamut feature it darkens the image by %55. That’s why I will recommend using this feature in well light Blackout treated theater.

Picture Quality

The picture quality is amazing. I love those projectors which have deep blacks and this one is delivering very well by keeping deep and the white natural. It also keeps all the colors natural at very high brightness because of the dynamic Iris technology.

The 3D experience was good. It delivered 1080p 3D content.

Lamp Life

It has a lamp life of 4000 hours. This number is not impressive. But this number can jump to 15000 hours on Eco-mode.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The dynamic Iris is the feature that keeps this projector apart from the competitors.


LG HU70LA – Best for WebOS Interface

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Specifications

HD Capability: True 4K by pixel shifting | Image Size: 140 inches | 3D Compatibility: No | Connectivity: HDMI, USB, LAN, Wifi, Bluetooth, and optical audio out | Brightness: 1500 ANSI lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: Yes

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Vibrant and vivid colors
  2. Useful inputs and outputs options
  3. True 4K pixel shifting with 8.3 million pixels per frame
  4. The robust interface of LG. Many streaming apps are provided and many more can be installed
  5. Magic remote name is 100% right for the remote. It feels like magic due to its cool features
  6. Wifi and Bluetooth
  7. In-built TV tuner

Reasons To Avoid

  1. No 3D
  2. Blacks are not impressive
  3. The input lag of 46ms is good for a normal person but terrible for pro-gamers

Who Is It For?

For those who want a smart 4K projector with a short throw.

This one is the best one when it comes to software interface. It has the LG WebOS and it is one of the most impressive user interfaces for projectors out there.

This interface transforms it into a Smart TV. Mainstreaming apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and many more can be streamed on it. The 4K content of this streaming service works flawlessly on it. Many more apps can be installed directly on it without any use of external dongles.

It does not have a color wheel but has a separate light source for each color with additional blue with green refiner color. It has four channels of colors that’s why the colors on the screen are so vibrant. As it has no color wheel that’s why there are no rainbow effects in the image.

Mobile and other devices’ screens can be mirrored directly to the projector Via Bluetooth or Wifi.

The magic remote is the best remote I have ever seen with any projector. All the options are there on the remote and the buttons are backlit. The remote supports Google Assistant voice commands. Its motion sensor is very helpful in selecting apps and movies.

At the top of this projector, it has focus and a zoom wheel button. It has auto keystone correction too.

At the back, it has HDMI, LAN, and USB input with optical and headphone audio out.

My friend has this in his theatre room due to the WebOS interface. I streamed movies on Netflix.  The 4K content was working flawlessly and there was no error in the interface algorithm.

The colors were vibrant and felt amazing. The image was bright and still, all the colors were present there. But the black levels were not deep enough to satisfy my movie experience.

If the blacks are not your concern then it can easily beat the BenQ HT3550 due to its vibrant color. I love black levels that’s why I have ranked it lower than that. 

But if the 4.1 million pixels per frame doesn’t bother you then I can even de-rank it below the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB because of the ultra blacks of the 5050UB.

But this LG HU70LA has 8.3 million pixels per frame and that gives it an upper hand over the 5050UB.

With speakers, you also need the best subwooferOpens in a new tab. to connect the audio system to your projector. Read my review about it.

Build

The build quality is very good. The plastic is sturdy and all the needed inputs and outputs are given but there is no internal power supply. The power cable has a power supply and due to that, the cable is not sleek and clean.

Throw Ratio

It can project a 100-inch image from 9.7ft away from the screen. This throw distance is very good and pretty handy to utilize.

Brightness

The brightness is 1500 ANSI lumens. ANSI lumens are different from lumens. The brightness is very good and it keeps all the colors alive at full brightness but this projector lacks black levels. That’s why blacks wash out at full brightness.

Picture Quality

I love vibrant colors in my daily life and this projector is satisfying my needs very well. The colors are so vibrant and there is no shortage of them. But the black levels are not impressive. The blacks need improvements.

Lamp Life

The lamp life is 30000 hours. This is impressive lamp life and can last for very long. It can pay you your hard-earned pennies back.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The 4 channel lights sources for the image creation without a one color wheel and one light source.


Optoma UHD35 – Best For 4K Gaming

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Specifications

HD Capability: True 4K by pixel shifting | Image Size: 300 inches | 3D Compatibility: No | Connectivity: HDMI, USB, and optical audio out | Brightness: 3600 lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: Yes, with dongle

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. True 4K pixel shifting of 8.3 million pixels per frame
  2. Ultra-low input lag for gaming
  3. 4K gaming with HDR
  4. Optical audio out
  5. Lightweight and low profile product

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Not deeper blacks
  2. The vibrancy of colors washes out on little higher brightness
  3. When gaming you can’t adjust the keystone

Who Is It For?

For those who are serious about gaming. But for movies, I will not recommend this one. There are better projectors from this list for movies.

This is the best 4K projector for gaming due to its incredibly low input lag. It provides 16ms input lag for 4K gaming and 4.6ms for 1080p quality gaming. 

This amount of input lag is never achieved before by any 4K projector. It can pixel shift 1080p image to true 4K image with 8.3 million pixels per frame. 

At the top, it has a zoom adjustment wheel, and close to it, it has control panel buttons. Every functionality of it can be managed and controlled by these buttons without any use of a Remote.

At the back, it has inputs and outputs options. It has two HDMI options with optical audio output and a few more options.

My client wanted a projector for gaming.  At first, I briefed him about this project which I will tell you later. I installed it in his theatre room.

The gaming mode was incredible with that ultra-low input lag. I was able to play games on 4K and that too with HDR.

But the movie experience was not impressive. The brightness was good but there was no significant vibrance in the colors. Many colors were washed out. The black levels were good but they were not that much deeper to give it a better or the best rank.

If you compare this UHD35 with the Epson 5050UB. Then this one will only win due to its higher pixel concentration per frame than the Epson 5050UB and also the gaming input lag.

Otherwise when it comes to deeper blacks and beautiful colors then the Epson 5050UB can easily beat the UHD35.

If you are a fan of gaming and higher pixels per frame then go for the UHD35 but if you are a fan of vibrant colors and deeper blacks then go for Epson 5050UB.

For the best gaming experience, you need a high hertz display as well. Read my best receivers’ review. Some can stream 4K video with 120Hz passthrough.

Build

The build quality is very lightweight and the size is small. The plastic used for the body is sturdy and of good quality.

It has 2 HDMI and optical audio output which is a very good thing.

Throw Ratio

It can project a 100-inch image from 11.4ft away from the screen. This throw distance is just good and not impressive. They should have enhanced the throw ratio.

Brightness

The brightness is very good. Movies can be watched very comfortably in ambient light.

Picture Quality

The picture quality is not impressive. The colors are not vivid and vibrant and the blacks are not deeper.

Lamp Life

It has a 15000 hours lamp life and this is very good. I was not expecting such a good lamp life from it.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The ultra-low input lag for gaming.


Epson Home Cinema 5050UB – Best For Ultra Blacks

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Specifications

HD Capability: 1080p Native but pixel shifting to half 4K| Image Size: 150 inches | 3D Compatibility: Yes | Connectivity: HDMI, LAN | Brightness: 2000 lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: None

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. Flawless pixel shifting to 4K
  2. Stunning colors
  3. Ultra-deep blacks
  4. Nice contrast between whites and blacks
  5. Very impressive horizontal and vertical lens shifting

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Not native 4K or true 4k. It is 2K in reality
  2. For wireless connectivity, you will have to pay $300 more
  3. Very heavy
  4. Fan is noisy

Who Is It For?

For those who want a projector under $3000 that can give them a taste of 4K.

This is a native 1080p projector. This is not a true 4K projector but it only pixel shifts images to 4K. It has 4.2 million pixels per frame whereas a true 4K projector has 8 million pixels per frame.

In pixel shifting these projectors multiply pixels of 1080p image several times to mimic the 4K image quality. 

The Image generates after this pixel shifting is only better than 1080p but can’t match the level of the native 4K projector image.

It has a 3LCD chip that creates a better image with no rainbow effects than ordinary DLP chips.

Its lens cover is motorized that can cover the lens automatically when it gets turned on.

It has a memory that can remember preset modes for sports and cinema. It will then automatically choose the respective mode with the matching content type.

On the right side of it, you get power, source, and navigation buttons. At the back of it, you get inputs like 2 HDMIs and LAN.

I installed this projector in my client’s room and we tested it out with movies and games. The colors were beautiful and there was a stunning contrast between the blacks and whites. 

The blacks were deep and truly transformed the movie experience and still, the whites were very well present. I loved its Ultra black levels.

But it truly goes against its advertisement. Epson shows in the advertisement that this project can have the same black levels in the ambient lights. But in reality, the blacks were washed out in the ambient light. But still, it was so bright that it can easily beat 3000 or more lumens projectors.

The input lag was 25ms, which is not the best one but better.

Build

The build quality is just fine. The cover is sturdy but the whole body is very heavy. The fan is noisy which I was expecting to be quieter. 

Epson should have provided wireless connectivity at this price.

If you are a fan of wireless connectivity then you can pair it with a soundbarOpens in a new tab. but if you need a real surround sound then read my 15 tips guide to hide speaker wiresOpens in a new tab..

Throw Ratio

It can project a 100inch image from 13.2ft away from the screen. This is not the best but still a good one. 

Brightness

The 2600 lumens make it brighter than most of the 3000 lumens projectors. But still, this brightness is keeping the blacks of the image very noticeable.

Picture Quality

The picture quality is stunning. The colors are so alive with deeper blacks and nice whites. 

It also has an HDR level adjustment option that can improve the image further. I will suggest keeping it at 4 or 5 for optimal results.

Lamp Life

It has 3500 Hours lamp life which is not impressive but still good. But it can give little more on eco mode and it can jump up to 5000 Hours.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

  1. Ultra-deep blacks
  2. 3LCD display chip

Bonus Product Review

Optoma GT1090HDR – Best For 1080p

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Specifications

HD Capability: 1080p Native | Image Size: 120 inches | 3D Compatibility: Yes | Connectivity: HDMI, LAN, and audio out | Brightness:  4200 lumens | Device connection: any with HDMI | Streaming apps: None

Today’s Best Deals

Check Price & Reviews On AmazonOpens in a new tab.

Reasons To Buy

  1. 1080p Native with HDR
  2. Colors are vivid and natural
  3. The dynamic black feature is good to enhance the blacks
  4. The 16ms input lag is impressive for gaming
  5. Nice 3D experience

Reasons To Avoid

  1. Only 4K input no 4K output
  2. Only Digital lens shift
  3. A greenish bias in 3D image

Who Is It For?

I can’t recommend this one because Optoma UHD35 is better than this in every aspect like lower price and better input lag than this one.

It is the best 1080p projector because of its HDR and dynamic black-like features.

It has one special option for 4K input. Keep in mind that this projector does not output 4K quality of image it just takes 4K Input. it will output this 4K into 1080p.

It was specially designed for gaming but it provides a very good home cinema experience too.

At the top, it has a wheel for zoom and focus, and close to it, it has a control panel.

The Control panel is very handy and the projector can be controlled by these buttons without the use of a Remote. It doesn’t have any control for the lens shift because the lens shift is digital.

On the backside, it has the input and output options. It has a LAN, two HDMI with one 4K input,  and analog audio out. 

My friend has this in his theatre room and I tested it out with movies and games.

It was not good out-of-the-box but needed calibration according to the room.  That’s why you have to calibrate it first according to your room environment.

The colors were natural and vivid. When the dynamic black feature was on the blacks were defined even better. The blacks look fantastic after this feature.

It was able to automatically turn on the HDR when it detected incoming HDR signals. When both the HDR and dynamic black were on, the colors were so saturated and full of life.  I love the 1080p HDR quality of it.

The gaming experience was good too because of its 16ms input lag. There was no visible lag in the game.

The 3D experience was good because the picture quality was the same but there was a greenish touch in the white areas of the image.

Build

The build quality is sturdy with a very easy-to-carry size. The remote is backlit and it needs improvement because I was expecting a better remote at this price range. 

I would be pleased more if Optoma had added optical audio out too.

Throw Ratio

It can project a 100-inch image from 3.6ft away from the screen. This is one of the best throw ratios on the market. Very impressed by it.

Brightness

It has 4200 lumens and it truly delivers. The brightness is very good and still, the blacks were adjusted right by the dynamic black and HDR. The lumens’ quality is amazing.

Picture Quality

I enjoyed the picture quality. The colors were vivid, the blacks were very well defined, and the brightness was right. 

Lamp Life

The lamp life is one of the best. It has 30000 Hours lamp life and it is impressive.

Feature That Keeps It Apart

The dynamic black feature is the one that keeps it apart.

FAQs

Is a short-throw projector better than a long throw?

If your theater system is small, you don’t want to lose on the best quality by saving the space, and you want to accommodate the best quality of projector in it then yes short throw projector is better than the regular long throw projector.

This was my opinion, learn more from this YouTube video


How do I choose a short-throw projector?

You should look into its throw ratio, brightness, picture quality, and lamp life. I have analyzed each projector on this list according to all these categories. I have written about the performance of each one in these particular categories. 

Read and decide which one is the right one for you.


What is short-throw projection?

A short-throw projector needs less distance than the regular projector to project the same size of the image.

For example: When a regular long-throw projector needs a 24ft distance to project a 100-inch image then the short throw projector will need a 15-4ft distance to project the same size image.

This is was my opinion, read more here from Epson siteOpens in a new tab.


Are there any 4K short-throw projectors?

Yes, there are 4K short throw projectors. But just read it carefully. 

When it says that the projector is Native 4K, it means that it has a specialized chip for 4K that natively supports 4K. Here you get the finest quality of 4K.

But when it says it is a 1080p native but pixel shifting it to true 4K. Here the projector multiplies the pixels of the 1080p image several times to match the required 4K image detail of 8.3 million pixels per frame. In the pixel shifting you get a true 4K image but it will never match the quality of the Native 4K chip. But yes, it will be better than the 1080p Native chip projector.


Why are short throw projectors so expensive?

Because it is very hard to throw a 100-inch image from a distance of 15-4ft by keeping all the qualities of the image in check. Qualities like to keep the pixels glued with each other, keeping the HDR quality alive, deeper black levels, fine and fuller whites, and keeping a good refresh frame rate at this distance of 15-4ft away from the screen. It is an engineering miracle we should be thankful for.

This was my opinion, read more here on this site.Opens in a new tab.

Ayaan Khan

Hi, it's Ayaan khan a freelancer and a computer science degree holder from P.E.S. College. I write articles on Homelytainment.com. The facts and research is provided by Daniel and the writing job is mine.

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