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Hi there and welcome
The HDMI ports can go bad, but its rare and not from never being used.
To check, when you connect the direct TV to a HDMI port, your switching the Source on the TV to the HDMI port?
eg: If your connecting direct TV to the HDMI port 1 on the TV, you switch the source on the TV until you cycle to HDMI 1?
As you may not be on the correct source.
Please let me know.