SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater Hookup/Programming Tips

dubradiodubradio Posts: 181
edited March 2016 in Troubleshooting
Polk Audio Surround Bar SDA Instant Home Theater
Hookup and programming tips and tricks

Having an issue setting up your new SurroundBar SDA Instant Home Theater? Well Polk Audio has you covered. Below we will cover some of the more common hookup and programming quirks you may run into…

(For all intents and purposes the SurroundBar SDA IHT will be referred to as the SB IHT throughout the rest of this tutorial)

:confused:Q: My TV doesn’t have analog audio output; can I still connect the SB IHT to my TV?

:)A: Yes and no, the SB IHT does require analog audio connections to operate, however many new TVs have eliminated analog audio output from their televisions features. Instead they are offering a Digital Audio output (optical). There is a way around this:

1. If you are only using a cable/satellite box (no other devices) you can connect the analog audio cable directly from the cable satellite box to the SB IHT directly.

2. If you have more devices and still would like to have the SB IHT handle all their audio then the SB IHT will need to be connected directly to the TV, for those televisions that only have digital audio output this will require the use of a Digital to Analog Audio converter, commonly sold through online retailers at a cost of $50-$70.

3. Another solution that you may take advantage of is if your television has a 1/8” headphone jack, You can use a 1/8” to stereo RCA adapter to allow direct connection from the SB IHT to your television (note: some television headphone jacks do not have sufficient signal strength to send a signal to the SB IHT correctly, in these cases you may need to revert to hook up option 2 above)

NOTE: You must be using an IR remote control for the SB IHT to learn the commands.

:confused:Q: Why won’t my SB IHT learn the commands from my remote control?

:)A: This is a multi part answer…

1. You want to make sure that you are using the televisions remote control or the provided slim remote included with the SB IHT (The SB IHT cannot effectively learn commands from universal, cable or satellite remotes, for the following proccesses please use your televisions remote control.)

2. With some televisions you may find the method listed in the SB IHT user manual to not properly program. Simple solution… In the SB IHT user manual where it says the following –

“Point your remote control at the front of the SurroundBar SDA
from approximately 12" (30cm) away. Press and hold the mute
button on your remote for a full second then release the button
for a full second.
Repeat the press and release sequence until
the status indicator starts blinking green.”

Try this instead –

“Point your remote control at the front of the SurroundBar SDA
from approximately 24" (60cm) away. Quickly tap the mute
button on your remote 4 times per second until
the status indicator starts blinking green

Repeat this process for all other commands (volume up/down and power), if the light flashes red repeat the process, some instances of programming can take 2-3 times for the bar to properly learn the command.

Once complete go ahead and grab your Cable or satellite remote (if applicable). If you have your cable or satellite programmed to operate your television then go ahead and try the volume up and down, Tada! your cable or satillite remote should now control the SB IHT.
(If your cable or sat remote is not programmed for your television please do so to allow control)

If you find that the bar continues to flash red or you are experiencing any other issues please reference your owner’s manual or contact our technical support team @ 1-800-377-7655 Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm EST
Post edited by PolkTeam on


  • sarnowssarnows Posts: 1
    edited December 2009
    I recently purchased a SDA Soundbar system, and hade the same issue in trying to program the cable remote. Came accross this posting, tried it, and it work! Question, why doesn't Polk include these instructions with the product, I'm sure other people are having the same problem?
  • ActonResActonRes Posts: 1
    edited December 2009
    Will the same remote training process work for the Soundbar 360 DVD theater setup?
  • dubradiodubradio Posts: 181
    edited December 2009
    The Surround Bar 360 utalizes a very differant programming proccess, so no this proccess will not work.


    We dont include this because it was a write up I personally did to assist customers(and make my job a little easier actually ;) ), and with many of these sitting on store shelves it would be very difficult to have these written up and placed into to product packaging and resealed per Polk Audio Standards.

  • dorokusaidorokusai Posts: 25,231
    edited December 2009
    Kyle - You make me want to be a better man. Great writeup!
  • mbrunnermbrunner Posts: 1
    edited April 2010
    Great posting and also re-read the manual and figured out how to program my great.
  • danielvdanielv Posts: 5
    edited November 2010
    Is is possible to program the SDA to respond to discrete on and off commands, instead of just power toggle?

    I recently got a Harmony remote for our smaller setup, and it likes to use the discrete power IR codes, instead of the power toggle. I've got it working now by programming the remote to use power toggle instead of power on / power off for the TV, but would prefer to use the discrete power codes if possible.
  • jay lorenjay loren Posts: 2
    edited January 2011
    Thanks for the tips, Kyle & Eric.
    I got the slim remote to work by trying different combinations of your instructions. Following your tip didn't get me there, though. I had to push the buttons on the SB too and the appropriate command key in between. I just can't remember exactly what I did. My cable remote I could not get to work but that's alright for now.
    It'd be great if Polk could come up with a simpler method for this in the future.
    I like the sound (as I have in the past with various Polk speakers) and appreciate the quick feedback from customer service, a rarity these days.
    Thanks again.
  • iserumiserum Posts: 2
    edited January 2011
    i have successfully programmed my harmony 700 with SDA, it uses all functions of SDA.
    HARMONY 700
  • ditor01ditor01 Posts: 1
    edited July 2011
    i just got one of this 6000 units

    i have been using iht for about 2 years now with no problems at all, but this unit is just imposible to learn my remote commands.

    First problem is when i hold the learn button instead of blink orange it blinks red all the time, i have try erasing the codes by pressing the learn with the unit off, and tried again but no luck, and some times it seems to learn a code but no matter what i press on my remote volume goes up or down all the time.

    HELPPPPPP please
  • wattmeworrywattmeworry Posts: 224
    edited September 2012
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 28,898
    edited March 2013
    This is what our Mexican food stamp program buys ^^^^^^
    Pioneer elite vhx 21
    Sony BRP
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    Polk 500 surrounds
    Polk s35 center
    SVS SB-2000


    Joule la-100 pre
    B&k 1403 amp
    Cary xciter dac
    Cullen modded Sonos
    ERA D5 bookies

    Acoustic zen Satori speaker cables
    Analysis plus crystal oval ic's
    Wireworld eclipse 7 ic's
    Audio metallurgy ga-o digital cable
  • iserumiserum Posts: 2
    edited July 2013
    is there a way to upgrade the wireless subwoofer of sound bar SDA
    HARMONY 700
  • my SurroundBar SDA IHT and sub woofer wireless does not work. I have changed fuse and restart but it will not work.
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,369
    Welcome to Polk's forum. It would be best to contact Polk's CS department at: 1-800-377-7655 select option 1 for help.
    Regards, Ken
    "And the house you live in will never fall down
    If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate" G.Lightfoot
  • Mike ReeterMike Reeter Posts: 3,240
    How do I make the connection from our I-Phones/I-Pads to a 9500BT Sound Bar?

    Sorry if this is lame question, but I'm about as Tech Challenged as they come.

    Thanks in advance!
    SDA SRS 3.1TL's/SDA CRS+4.1TL's and some other stuff
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,369
    Let me try and find an answer for you.
    "And the house you live in will never fall down
    If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate" G.Lightfoot
  • Help my Surroundbar SDA has stopped working. The buttons on top are acting in all sorts of strange ways. The only ones that work as expected are the power button and the mute button. The remote button won't work and holding it and the mute button to program the SDA simply makes the volume go up. It will no longer respond to the remotes I had previously programmed. Is there a factory reset function I can try?
  • KennethSwaugerKennethSwauger Moderator Posts: 6,369
    On most of Polk's soundbars you can reset them by unplugging the AC power cord. Then switch off the AC power button, wait a few minutes then reconnect the power cord and switch on the AC.
    If you're still having a problem telephone Polk at 1-800-377-7655 select option 1.
    "And the house you live in will never fall down
    If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate" G.Lightfoot
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