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Two-way cable television (CATV) networks have been developed over a period of a dozen years or so with the express purpose of serving as the transmission medium for a variety of duplex data communications services for home and business. Unfortunately, many CATV engineers have only a rudimentary understanding of encoded transmission theory and practice, and almost no experience with the terminology and techniques developed for efficient data transmission. On the other hand, the designers of modems and the developers of protocols tend to have a rather naive view of the transmission characteristics of a CATV network. This paper is presented as a tutorial for telecommunications engineers and designers who need to know more about the technological characteristics of CATV networks.