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.

Philips Device Connector local installation

1.1. Benefits

  • It allows using the buttons of Philips dictation hardware to control SpeechLive features in a Chrome Browser session (e.g. the webplayer, recorder or Speech to text) even if the Chrome browser is minimised or you are working inside another application like Word

  • Offers persistent connection between the hardware and the SpeechLive web application

  • SpeechMike can be used in "Event mode" (this is the default out-of-the-box button mode), no need to switch to „Browser mode“

  • Support VDI environments when used in conjunction with Philips server/client extension drivers (see Philips Device Connector admin guide for more details).

This guide covers the setup and troubleshooting of Philips Device Connector in local installations. For deployment and operation in VDI environments (remote / enterprise use cases) please check the Philips Device Connector admin guide.

2. Installation

To use Philips Device Connector, you need to install two components:

  • Philips Device Connector native host application

  • Philips Device Connector Chrome extension

The following steps cover the installation of both components:

  1. Navigate to the Philips Device Connector extension page in the Chrome web store.

  2. Click on Add to Chrome .

  3. A pop-up window appears, confirm the installation by clicking on Add extension.

  4. Download the latest Philips Device Connector native host application setup here download_icon.svg.

  5. Run philips_device_connector_native_host_installer.exe on your local machine and finish the setup.

    X You can now use your Philips dictation hardware on all supported websites (e.g. SpeechLive).

Note

  • The local installation of Philips Device Connector is currently only supported for Windows systems.

  • 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".

2.1. Installation via command line

It's also possible to install the Philips Device Connector native host application via command line:

philips_device_connector_native_host_installer.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

Here is an example of a silent installation via command line without user interaction:

philips_device_connector_native_host_installer.exe /s /v"/qn"

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

You can inspect, enable/disable, remove and configure the extension via chrome://extensions/. 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.

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. 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 the Philips Device Connector native host application as outlined in the Installation section.

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

An unexpected error occurred.

Make sure that the Philips Device Connector native host application and the Philips Device Connector Chrome extension are installed (see Installation).

Check if the Philips Device Connector native host application is updated to the latest version.

Check the logs of all Philips Device Connector components as outlined in the Troubleshooting section. 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 the Troubleshooting section. 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 as outlined in the Installation section. 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 the 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 the Troubleshooting section. 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, the Philips Device Connector native host application has to be updated manually. After you have downloaded the latest setup, you can just repeat the installation process as described in this guide (see Installation section).

5. Known issues

  • SpeechExec Enterprise WebAccess or WebRecorderSDK is currently not supported by Philips Device Connector.