Even though your laptop has an IR port, the Slingbox will not recognize this connection since the Slingbox uses its own virtual remote control.
If you want to use a physical remote control in order to control the DVR from remote locations, you will need to look for another option, since the Slingbox and / or the SlingPlayer software do not provide this specific feature.
I have a Dell XPS M1730 Laptop running Windows Vista Ultimate. The computer came with a travel remote that has basic functionality with SlingViewer V22.214.171.1245 that is connected to a Comcast Cable Motorola DVR box. The virtual remote works perfectly. I was wondering if there is a remote contorl that works with my laptop that allows for more enhanced functionality, IE direct input of channels, activation of guide mode, page up/down while in guide mode, DVR, etc. My laptop has a 17" screen so when i travel i can set it up across the hotel room and see it just fine from the bed, would love the ability to control all functions without crossing the room...any ideas?