The better cable Web sites transcend the standard-model electronic brochure and offer sound and video clips drawn from the programming they promote.
A live 24-hour Fox News Channel (http://www.foxnews.com/) video and sound feed is one of the first major fruits of Progressive Networks' RealPlayer software released last month. You can view live and archived clips on the site, which requires the free RealPlayer to be preloaded on your system. (The tool can be downloaded from http://www.real.com.)
TESTING THE LIMITS
Ever felt stuck on an emotional overload? If misery loves company, you might want to go to Showtime Online's Outer Limits site (http://www.showtimeonline.com/orig/outer.cgi) and download up to four 60-second segments of "The Awakening," one "Outer Limits" episode.
If you have a QuickTime viewer (http://quicktime.apple.com) you can follow along as the former "emotionally void" Beth Carter character becomes overwrought after she gets a mysterious brain implant. The site contains plot and cast information for all new "Outer Limits" episodes.
Animals can have emotions, too, as you'll learn from a visit to the new Animal Planet site (http://animal.discovery.com).
The site's features include "Animal Bytes," a synopsis of animal story highlights culled from the current month's programming and "Pet Talk," a chat group.
(Also worth a look is the site of Animal Planet's parent, Discovery Channel, at http://www.discovery.com. With sections on history, nature and science, the site won an international Milia D'Or Award in Cannes in February.)
If Animal Planet's Web site leaves you with an insatiable hunger to learn more about the world, Knowledge Online (http://www.jec.edu) might be worth a click. This is the Web presence of Jones Intercable's Jones Education Co.
READY TO LEARN
On the site you can learn about Jones' assortment of college-level courses as well as program information from its Knowledge TV. Information about Knowledge TV is organized into four areas, "Computers & Technology," "Business, Careers & Finance," "Global Culture & Language," plus "Health & Wellness."
Dr. Katz does his own bit for wellness. He's a therapist who treats neurotic comedians on his own Comedy Channel animated show. The Dr. Katz Web site (http://home.dwave.net/jscott/katz.html) offers cast information, a thorough episode guide, and QuickTime sound clips from eight episodes. Some include "Bully," which features the voice of Ray Romano; "Drinky The Drink Guy," with Mr. Romano and Janeane Garafolo; and "Bystander Ben," with the intonations of Steven Wright and Kevin Meany.
get close to daria
Daria, another animated character who rose to fame taunting schoolmates Beavis and Butthead, now has her own weekly show on MTV, as well as her own Web presence (http://www.mtv.com/tubescan/animation/daria/index.html). The sardonic, sarcastic geeky non-ingenue of animation comes to cyberspace with a collection of sound and video clips.
If you're looking for characters more comfortable with picnicking in the park, Romance Classics channel may be for you.
Romance Classics has its own site (http://www.romanceclassics.com/idex .html). Not only can you obtain programming info, but you can enter a romantic-couple contest and learn 20 new ways to say "I love you" to your love.
Between objects of affection, some of us will sublimate with food, the charter subject of Food Network's CyberKitchen site (http://www.foodtv.com).
Bite bytes here include recipes from TFN shows, food-related news, diet advice, program schedules, links to restaurant information. There's a lot to chew on.