Both IE and Navigator let you specify different background colors in table cells. However, IE ups the ante by supporting tiled background images in different cells or even behind an entire table.
If you want to add contrasting elements to enhance legibility, just add:
to any TABLE, or to any TD or TR element in your table.
If you've used a color scheme that depends on a text color contrasting with your background color, use the BGCOLOR argument in the same tag to provide a solid color that is similar to the hue of the background image.