AM fiber optic systems are playing an increasingly important role in the delivery of high quality signals in all types of CATV plant architectures. This paper discusses technical issues in the set-up, operation and maintenance of this equipment which are critical to maintaining system performance. Discussion is also given to the effects of various level control methods on the initial and ongoing system performance capabilities, particularly in light of real world headend and distribution plant operation. Technical and operational trade-offs are contrasted and recommendations are made for different areas of the installation. It is hoped that this paper will clarify some of these issues so that operators can make informed decisions to ensure stable and reliable operation of fiber optic systems, particularly as their use expands in CATV architectures.