We find the conditions for a chaotic system to transmit a general source of information efficiently. Transmission of information with very low probability of error is possible if the topological entropy of the transmitted wave signal is greater than or equal to the Shannon entropy of the source message minus the conditional entropy coming from the limitations of the channel (such as equivocation by the noise). This condition may not be always satisfied both due to dynamical constraints and due to the nonoptimal use of the dynamical partition. In both cases, we describe strategies to overcome these limitations. (C) 2003 American Institute of Physics.