1. Introduction

Philips Device Connector (PDC) is a Google Chrome extension accompanied by a native host application. PDC connects websites, such as speechlive.com, with Philips dictation hardware like Foot controls or SpeechMikes. It allows using the buttons of Philips dictation hardware to control SpeechLive (e.g. the webplayer, recorder or Speech to text). Philips Device Connector supports Google Chrome running on local Windows clients as well as in remote sessions. The Supported platforms section lists all supported client and remote target platforms.

This guide covers the setup and troubleshooting of Philips Device Connector in VDI environments (remote / enterprise use cases).

Local installations are covered in the separate Philips Device Connector local installation guide.

2. Setup

You can download the latest Philips Device Connector setup package here.

download_icon.svg

2.1. Overview

From client to target

The diagram above displays all components needed for a successful hardware support in remote environments. Client represents the device/machine where you plug-in your Philips hardware, target represents the device/machine running Google Chrome. The following example elaborates this communication process:

First, the user pushes a button on his SpeechMike or Foot control. This gets picked up by the Philips client extension drivers and redirected via virtual channels to the Philips server extension drivers. From here the Philips Device Connector native host application takes over and forwards it to the Philips Device Connector Chrome extension, which sends a message to SpeechLive to perform the according function of the button press.

To use the full functionality (e.g. button events, LEDs, etc.) of Philips dictation hardware in remote sessions, you need to install:

Note

  • As described above, Philips client/server extension drivers redirect Philips dictation hardware from the client to the target. However, some virtualization technologies include their own methods to redirect hardware connected to the client (e.g. via Microsoft RemoteFX). If you are using these built-in methods, you can also set up Philips Device Connector as Local installation. In such a setup, Philips client/server extension drivers must not be installed.

    Local installations are covered in the separate Philips Device Connector local installation guide.

  • Use Philips SpeechMikes in "Event mode". This is the default out-of-the-box button mode. Philips Device Connector can’t process button events from SpeechMikes in "Browser mode", "Keyboard mode" or any of the "Custom modes".

2.2. Philips client extension drivers

from-client-to-target_step1.svg

2.2.1. Description

Philips client extension drivers pick up signals from Philips dictation hardware connected to a Windows or Linux client; they are located on the client side. Together with the Philips server extension drivers, they redirect hardware signals to a remote target (Windows Server or Virtual Desktop).

2.2.2. Setup

  1. You can download the latest Philips Device Connector setup package here.

  2. Remove all old versions of Philips client extension drivers before installing a new version.

  3. Depending on your virtualization platform:

    1. Citrix:

      1. Make sure the Citrix Receiver/Workplace app is installed before installing Philips client extension drivers.

      2. Run PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe (32-bit).

    2. Microsoft WTS/RDS or VMware: The client operating system and the driver setup must be identical:

      • On 32-bit operating systems, run PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe.

      • On 64-bit operating systems, run PhilipsSpeechDrivers64Setup.exe.

  4. Only select the Client Extension component(s) (Citrix/WTS/VMWare) suitable for the virtualization platform(s) you are using and click Next.

    installer_philips-client-extension-drivers
  5. On the mounting parameters page:

    1. If Philips Device Connector is only used to integrate Foot controls and SpeechMikes to SpeechLive, you can click Next (and ignore the mounting parameters).

    2. If SpeechLive Uploader Client software is used to upload dictation files from DPM devices, you must consider the mounting parameters. Please follow the guidelines in the Techhelp for Speech Extensions Drivers.

  6. Install the component(s) and finish the setup.

Note

  • Linux clients are covered in the Techhelp for Speech Extensions Drivers, including more in-depth information regarding Philips client/server extension drivers.

  • You can also run the setup from command line with parameters, see section PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe command line parameters for more details.

  • Do not enable USB redirection for Philips dictation hardware in the remote client software. All communication is handled by Philips client/server extension drivers, if they are installed.

    However, if you do manage to successfully enable full USB redirection, you might be able to set up PDC as local installation. In such a setup, Philips client/server extension drivers must not be installed.

    Local installations are covered in the separate Philips Device Connector local installation guide.

  • Only Citrix: If you upgrade or reinstall the Citrix Receiver/Workplace app, you have to reinstall Philips client extension drivers as well, since some relevant registry settings are changed during the upgrade/installation process of the Citrix Receiver/Workplace app.

  • Only VMware: VMware Horizon Client must be version 4.3.0 or higher.

2.3. Philips server extension drivers

from-client-to-target_step2.svg

2.3.1. Description

Philips server extension drivers are located on the target side (Windows Server or Virtual Desktop). They redirect signals from Philips client extension drivers to a remote target.

2.3.2. Setup

  1. You can download the latest Philips Device Connector setup package here, provided you haven’t already downloaded the package whilst installing any of the other components.

  2. Remove all old versions of Philips server extension drivers before installing a new version.

  3. Run PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe (32-bit).

  4. Select the Server Extension component (Citrix/WTS/VMWare) suitable for the virtualization platform you are using.

    installer_philips-server-extension-drivers
  5. Install the component(s) and finish the setup.

Note

  • You can only install one Server Extension component, a parallel installation of multiple Server Extension components is not supported.

  • At this step you can also install Philips Device Connector native host application. Select PDC native host application to install it as well.

  • You may also install PDC Chrome extension at this step. However, we recommend reviewing other installation methods first. Please see Philips Device Connector Chrome extension for all available options, to ensure a fitting method for your environment.

2.4. Philips Device Connector native host application

from-client-to-target_step3.svg

2.4.1. Description

This is a small native Windows application without user interface, brokering between Philips server extension drivers and Philips Device Connector Chrome extension. It is launched/terminated by Google Chrome when Philips Device Connector chrome extension is initialized/closed.

2.4.2. Setup

  1. You can download the latest Philips Device Connector setup package here, provided you haven’t already downloaded the package whilst installing any of the other components.

  2. Run PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe (32-bit) on the target environment (Windows Server or Virtual Desktop).

  3. Select the component PDC native host application for installation in the setup.

  4. Install the component(s) and finish the setup.

Note

This step should be combined with the installation of Philips server extension drivers.

2.5. Philips Device Connector Chrome extension

from-client-to-target_step4.svg

2.5.1. Description

Philips Device Connector Chrome extension connects websites (e.g. speechlive.com) via Philips Device Connector native host application and Philips server/client extension drivers to Philips dictation hardware.

2.5.2. Setup

This guide offers different possibilities to install Philips Device Connector Chrome extension. You can see the benefits of the various installation methods below. Please choose the installation method fitting your environment / user behavior:

Installation method

Pros

Cons

Chrome Web Store

  • Simple

  • Only for local use case

  • Not recommended for Enterprise environments

PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe

  • Simple

  • Combined installation with other PDC components

  • No force-install and force-enable possible

  • Not recommended for Enterprise environments

Group Policies

  • Force-install and force-enable

  • Ideal for Enterprise environments

  • Requires adding Google policy templates

Note

Philips Device Connector Chrome extension is optimized for Chrome Enterprise. However, all mentioned installation methods should also work in the consumer version of Chrome.

2.5.2.1. Chrome Web Store
  1. Download the Philips Device Connector from the Chrome Web Store.

  2. Install the Chrome extension.

Note

  • The Chrome extension will be installed only for the currently logged in Windows user and they can also remove the extension later

  • This installation method is not recommended for Enterprise environments

2.5.2.2. PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe
  1. You can download the latest Philips Device Connector setup package here, provided you haven’t already downloaded the package whilst installing any of the other components.

  2. Run PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe (32-bit).

  3. Select PDC Chrome extension and click Next.

    installer_pdc-chrome-extension
  4. Install the component(s) and finish the setup.

  5. Google Chrome prompts the end-user to enable the Philips Device Connector Chrome extension.

    extension_perm.gif
  6. The end-users must click on Enable extension to install the Chrome extension.

Note

  • This installation method is not recommended for Enterprise environments. It depends heavily on the end-users. The end-user might refuse to enable the Chrome extension and remove it instead. This would even blocklist the Chrome extension; it wouldn´t get installed again on next Chrome startup. To remove the blocklist tag, install the extension via Chrome Web Store and then remove it again (find more details in this Google FAQ).

  • If the end-user neither enables nor removes the Chrome extension when prompted with the popup window but restarts Chrome instead, or if the popup window is not displayed by Chrome for some reason, the Chrome extension will be installed but disabled. It can be enabled via chrome://extensions/.

  • If you choose this installation method, we recommend to combine it with the installation of the Philips server extension drivers.

2.5.2.3. Group Policies

Google provides various possibilities to install and manage Chrome extensions in Enterprise environments. Please review Google's Managing Extensions in Your Enterprise guide first and choose a method suited for your environment.

One of these methods is installing Chrome extensions using Group Policies and this is the recommended way to install Philips Device Connector Chrome extension in Enterprise environments. You can find it in section “Option 3B: Allow or block extensions in Group Policy” of Google’s guide. The following is a shortened version of this more detailed guide:

  1. Download Google policy templates

  2. Add the ADM or ADMX template you downloaded to Local Computer Policy > Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates

  3. In the Group Policy Editor, browse to Google Chrome > Extensions > Configure the list of force-installed apps and extensions

  4. Select Enabled and click Show

  5. Enter the Extension ID of Philips Device Connector: okdioccnnkeanlegkfgnnboncggagfjh and click OK.

After finishing these steps, Philips Device Connector Chrome extension will be force-installed and force-enabled for any user logging into Windows. The end-user is not allowed to disable or remove it. The only way to remove the extension is to remove the Extension ID from the group policy (or by disabling the policy).

2.6. PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe command line parameters

It’s possible to run the setup via command line:

PhilipsSpeechDrivers[64]Setup.exe [exe_parameters] /v"[msi_parameters]"

Commonly used exe_parameters:

Parameter

Description

/x

Uninstall mode

/s

Silent installation (no UI)

/v

Pass arguments to MSIExec (msi_parameters)

Commonly used msi_parameters:

Parameter

Description

/qn

Setup runs without user interaction

/l*v c:\setuplog.txt

Setup is logged to C:\setuplog.txt

CUSTOMPROPERTY

See a list of custom properties below

CUSTOMPROPERTY

Possible values

CHROMEEXTENSION

YES | NO

NATIVEHOST

YES | NO

MCIAUDIO

YES | NO

MCICONTROL

YES | NO

CITRIXCLIENTEXTENSION

YES | NO

CITRIXSERVEREXTENSION

YES | NO

WTSCLIENTEXTENSION

YES | NO

WTSSERVEREXTENSION

YES | NO

VMWARECLIENTEXTENSION

YES | NO

VMWARESERVEREXTENSION

YES | NO

DPM_LOCAL_PATH

local path of WTS and Citrix client extension

DPM_SERVER_PATH

server path of Citrix client extension

Note

  • Custom property names and values are case-sensitive

  • Default values for custom properties depend on the type of operating system and the installed Citrix components.

    On non-server operating systems, the following components are installed by default:

    MCIAUDIO

    MCICONTROL

    WTSCLIENTEXTENSION

    CITRIXCLIENTEXTENSION if Citrix Receiver/Workplace app is already installed

    On server operating systems, the following components are installed by default:

    CITRIXSERVEREXTENSION

    WTSSERVEREXTENSION

    VMWARESERVEREXTENSION

    However, only one of these can be installed on the same computer. If running the setup using command line, one of these has to be set to YES and both others to NO.

  • If the value of DPM_LOCAL_PATH or DPM_SERVER_PATH contains spaces, the path must be enclosed with properly escaped quotation marks.

    Example: PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe /v "DPM_LOCAL_PATH=\"C:\DPM path with space\""

2.6.1. Examples

Installing Philips client extension drivers without user interaction on a 32-bit Windows Client connecting to a WTS session:

PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe /v"/qn CITRIXCLIENTEXTENSION=NO WTSCLIENTEXTENSION=YES VMWARECLIENTEXTENSION=NO"

Silently installing all components required for Philips Device Connector without user interaction on a WTS server (this is the second method (PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe) mentioned in the Philips Device Connector Chrome extension section):

PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe /s /v"/qn CHROMEEXTENSION=YES NATIVEHOST=YES CITRIXSERVEREXTENSION=NO WTSSERVEREXTENSION=YES VMWARESERVEREXTENSION=NO"

2.7. Remote audio

Full functionality of SpeechLive in remote sessions requires audio playback as well as audio recording for remote session. Philips Device Connector focuses on button events and hardware functionality like LEDs. Audio support is handled by your virtualization platform technology (Citrix/WTS/VMWare) and depends on your platform combination (client/target/virtualization technology). Please refer to the documentation of your virtualization platform technology for the remote audio setup.

3. Troubleshooting

Philips Device Connector consists of different components. It is recommended to narrow down any occurring issues to one component. If not possible, troubleshoot one component at a time and start at Philips Device Connector Chrome extension:

3.1. Philips Device Connector Chrome extension

Troubleshooting for Philips Device Connector Chrome extension differs depending on your installation method. However, we recommend to always start troubleshooting at the Chrome Developer Tools Console (Ctrl+Shift+I or F12). Here you can access the logs of Philips Device Connector Chrome extension, regardless of the installation type.

3.1.1. Chrome Web Store

If you installed the Chrome Extension from the Web Store, you can inspect, enable/disable, remove and configure the extension via chrome://extensions/.

3.1.2. PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe

Installing the Chrome extension via PhilipsSpeechDriversSetup.exe creates the following registry key:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Google\Chrome\Extensions\okdioccnnkeanlegkfgnnboncggagfjh

This registry key gets picked up by Chrome and prompts the installation of the Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store. However, the end-user must accept this prompt to install the extension. After the installation, the Chrome extension can be managed the same way as if it was manually installed from the store.

3.1.3. Group Policies

Detailed information regarding troubleshooting of Chrome extensions in Enterprise environments is available in the Managing Extensions in Your Enterprise guide by Google.

3.2. Philips Device Connector native host application

After you successfully installed Philips Device Connector native host application (as outlined above), you can find the application in the following location:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Philips Speech\Philips Device Connector\PDCNativeHost.exe

In addition to that, a registry key is created during the installation process. The key tells the Philips Device Connector Chrome extension where to find Philips Device Connector native host application. Please check if the key was successfully created:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Google\Chrome\NativeMessagingHosts\com.speechexec.devices

Philips Device Connector native host application can generate logfiles if C:\Program Files (x86)\Philips Speech\Philips Device Connector\PDCNativeHost.ini is configured accordingly.

Here is an example for full debug logging:

[LOGInitSettings]
Enable=yes
File=[Path with write access]\PDCNativeHost.log
MaxLines=10000
LogParams=yes
LogComments=yes
LogVariables=yes
Timeout=2000
WrapAtMax=no
UseOutputDebug=no
FilterFunctions=no
FilterVariables=no
FilterComments=no

If you need to stop the native host application during troubleshooting, you can find and end the PDCNativeHost.exe in the Task Manager.

3.3. Philips client/server extension drivers

Troubleshooting and logging Philips client extension drivers as well as Philips server extension drivers is covered in the Techhelp for Speech Extensions Drivers.

3.4. SpeechLive error messages

SpeechLive offers different error messages regarding Philips Device Connector. The error messages cover the most common issues like outdated drivers or missing components. They also provide more information, e.g. which components are affected, so you can narrow down your troubleshooting.

Error message

Possible causes

Recommended solution

To ensure full hardware functionality, install “Philips Device Connector native host application” or contact your administrator.

Philips Device Connector (PDC) chrome extension is unable to find PDC native host application. PDC native host application is either missing or defective.

Download the latest setup and install Philips Device Connector native host application

To ensure full hardware functionality, check if “Philips client extension drivers” are installed or contact your administrator.

PDC native host application was started, but the device library failed to initialize. In most cases, this error is caused by missing/defective Philips client extension drivers.

Download the latest setup and install Philips client extension drivers

To ensure full hardware functionality, contact your administrator to update the “Philips client extension drivers”.

You are not using the latest version of Philips client extension drivers; as a result, they can’t process certain requests from other (already updated) PDC components. However, already supported requests will continue to work.

Download the latest setup and install Philips client extension drivers. Use Chrome Developer Tools Console to check for more details regarding failing requests.

Please try again. Contact your SpeechLive support partner if this error persists.

An unexpected error occurred.

Make sure that Philips client extension drivers, Philips server extension drivers, Philips Device Connector native host application and Philips Device Connector Chrome extension are installed and updated to the latest version.

Check the logs of all Philips Device Connector components as outlined in Troubleshooting. Please contact your SpeechLive support partner if this error continues to persist.

Please refresh this page. Contact your SpeechLive support partner if this error persists.

Philips Device Connector native host application crashed for unknown reasons.

Refresh the page, if the error persists close Chrome and end PDCNativeHost.exe in the Task Manager, then reload SpeechLive.

Check the logs of all Philips Device Connector components as outlined in Troubleshooting. Please contact your SpeechLive support partner if this error continues to persist.

To ensure full hardware functionality, contact your administrator to update the “Philips Device Connector native host application”.

You are not using the latest version of Philips Device Connector native host; as a result, it can’t process certain requests from the (already updated) PDC Chrome extension. However, already supported requests will continue to work.

Install the latest version of Philips Device Connector native host application. Use Chrome Developer Tools Console to check for more details regarding failing requests.

To ensure full hardware functionality, install “Philips Device Connector native host application” or contact your administrator.

For unknown reasons, the PDC chrome extension ran into a timeout trying to connect to the PDC native host application.

Make sure that Philips Device Connector native host application is installed. If it is already installed, try to refresh the page. If the error persists, close Chrome and end PDCNativeHost.exe in the Task Manager, then reload SpeechLive.

Check the logs of all Philips Device Connector components as outlined in Troubleshooting. Please contact your SpeechLive support partner if this error continues to persist.

4. Updates

Updates of Philips Device Connector components should only be done either when new features are needed or when experiencing problems. Websites using Philips Device Connector (e.g. SpeechLive) usually provide guidance when an update is recommended or needed.

Philips Device Connector Chrome extension updates itself automatically. However Philips client extension drivers, Philips server extension drivers and Philips Device Connector native host application have to be updated manually. After you have downloaded the latest setup, you can just repeat the installation process as described in this guide.

Please always try to update all three components to the same version, starting with Philips client extension drivers.

5. Supported platforms

 

Supported platforms

Short

Platform

W7x86

Windows 7 SP1 32-bit

W7x64

Windows 7 SP1 64-bit

W10x64

Windows 10 64-bit

S2012R2

Windows Server 2012R2

S2016

Windows Server 2016

S2019

Windows Server 2019 Standard

WEmb7

Windows 7 Embedded Standard x86 SP1, "Thin client" template

W10IoT

Windows 10 IoT Enterprise 64-bit

Igel5

Igel Universal Desktop 5.x (32-bit)

Igel11

Igel Linux 11.x (64-bit)

eLuxRP5

eLux RP 5.x (32-bit)

eLuxRP6

eLux RP 6.x (64-bit)

Ubuntu

Ubuntu 19.10 (64-bit)

ThinPro

HP ThinPro 7.x (64-bit)

Wyse

Wyse/Dell ThinLinux (64-bit)

StratX86

Stratodesk NoTouchOS 3.2.10 x86

StratX64

Stratodesk NoTouchOS 3.2.10 x64

nComp

nComputing RX-HDX

5.1. Known issues

  • SpeechLive Uploader Client software does not work properly in remote sessions with StratoDesk and nComputing clients.

  • If connecting to a WTS/RDS target running as a Windows Server VM in Microsoft Azure, remote audio recording might not work as expected. A possible solution for this is to modify the RDP file provided by the Azure resource. Please try removing the line “administrative session:i:1”.

  • Remote audio might not work out-of-the-box with eLux clients. Please contact eLux support or your SpeechLive support partner.