You talking HDMI from the receiver to the laptop? Should automatically connect. If it doesn't, you'll have to check your settings on your laptop. Also make sure the HDMI port on your laptop is an input. Not an output
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If your laptop has a TV tuner or allows input, you should be able to directly connect from the receiver (HD/HD-DVR), and have the TV Tuner or laptop settings to that input. Other wise you can not connect a laptop to your DirecTV Reciever. There is a Cool FREE Program you can get if your HD-DVR is connected to your home network called DirecTV2PC, which allows you to view recorded shows from your HD-DVR
It should hook right up , if this is not working and not hooking up right away , then there should be a button on your computer on like F10 or one of the F number controls. That should work after that .