Question Laptop connected to router for DirecTv to work?


Oct 13, 2017
I'm at a loss here....

I went over to help out a friend (older lady) setup a new laptop on her home WiFi. She explains to me that her old laptop must be connected to the router via ethernet in order for other devices to access the internet. I explained that's not the case and unplugged her old laptop to demonstrate the WiFi network. Most devices (new laptop, my laptop, printer, phone) all remained on the WiFi network no problem. However, her TV in the other room suddenly stopped working.

As it turns out, somehow the TV is dependent on her laptop being connected to the router and turned on. The TV is a Samsung smart tv, which is plugged into a DirecTv receiver. Now, it's worth noting that she has another TV with it's own DirectTv receiver in another room that was just recently setup and it functioned fine when the laptop was disconnected.

Soo... I plugged the laptop back into the ethernet and her DirecTv cable resumed. She told me that the town's local computer guy was the one that set it up. I'm assuming he had some sort of reason for doing so, but I can't figure why. I would like to free up the need to have a laptop running in order to watch TV. Does anyone have the slighest idea as to why the DirecTv receiver would need to use a laptop as the hotspot?
Go to that DirectTV' box, and check its network settings (notably, DNS and Gateway), and see whether they are not routed thru the old laptop. Also, ask her how many DirectTV devices are listed on her account - this laptop could be setup to fool something ;)