An empirical TV range performance prediction methodology is described that depends on only two TV camera merit functions. These merit functions are the MRS, or minimum resolvable signal, and Ir, the background reference current. Both can be measured. This methodology differs from other TV system performance models in that it does not require detailed knowledge of the camera design characteristics, nor does it require extensive measurement of merit functions. The described methodology removes the need to rely heavily on incomplete theoretical models and replaces them with a largely empirical method more likely to yield reliable results. The simplified approach allows many camera designs to be optimized for application requirements and evaluated without an extensive modeling effort.