A systematic study is made between the relationship of Cd0.9Zn0.1S/CdTe photovoltaic (PV) device properties for three different commercial transparent conducting oxide (TCO) materials and some experimental CdO to determine the role of the TCO in device performance. The resistance contribution from the TCO was measured after depositing the gold contact architectures directly onto the TCOs. These were compared with the Cd0.9Zn0.1S/CdTe device properties using the same contact arrangements. Series resistance for the commercial TCOs correlated with their sheet resistance and gave good agreement with the PV device series resistance for the indium tin oxide (ITO) and fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) 15 Ω/Sq. superstrates. The devices on the thicker FTO 7 Ω/sq superstrates were dominated by a low shunt resistance, which was attributed to the rough surface morphology causing micro-shorts. The device layers on the CdO substrate delaminated but devices were successfully made for ultra-thin CdTe (0.8 μm thick) and compared favourably with the comparable device on ITO. From the measurements on these TCOs it was possible to deduce the back contact resistance and gave an average value of 2 Ω.cm2. The correlation of fill factor with series resistance has been compared with the predictions of a 1-D device model and shows excellent agreement. For high efficiency devices the combined series resistance from the TCO and back contact need to be less than 1 Ω.cm2.