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Tangential sensitivity is shown to be an inadequate criterion for comparing the operational performance of wideband crystal video ESM receivers. By contrast, it is shown that `receiver sensitivityÂ¿ is completely described by a criterion that specifies a required signal detection probability for a give false-alarm rate. In particular, this alternative criterion is necessary for the correct design of modern ESM receivers that incorporate automatic processors. Formulas are presented relating explicitly three system descriptors: (i) detection probability, (ii)false-alarm rate, and (iii) tangential sensitivity, and it is shown that a general system description is provided by any two of these three. It is also shown that a sensitivity figure can be defined including these terms in an effective reveiver bandwidth. The sensitivity equations are also derived for receivers in which noise from both the detectors and the video amplifier becomes significant.