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2) When I view it in the browser the background image doesn't display at all.
3) I also need to change the opacity and I can't figure out how to do that. I tried adding it to the code but it didn't take.
Any help would be great.
The only way to do what you ask using tables would be to place the background image in the <table> tag itself - pretty sure that would work - then you can place other background properties in the <td>. Not a very elegant solution if it's just for layout.
CSS might be a better route - you could use containers to position your images with the background property.
As for opacity - if you want the one image to show underneath another then you need to use PNG's with alpha transparencies and then apply the IE PNG filter.
If you only aim to drop the image back, you can easily change the opacity in an image editor and export as GIF or JPG to suit.