I struggle with this question often - how much TV is too much? But for the holidays, I've decided to give myself permission for some down time of my own, and not just when Raccoon is sleeping. Any break I take usually involves the TV. Somehow I have not managed to teach/convince Raccoon to play on his own for more than 5 minutes at a time. I could probably do imaginative play with him all day and he'd still want more.
What I'm finding works for me is compromise:
1) Times of complete, energetic attention/play/conversation (he's such a great little guy) and other times where I put a puppet on one hand and do some reading while he talks/interacts with his "friend."
2) Make sure what he watches is the best possible option, or if not (he loves odd movies like Despicable Me, which has content I do not like) then talk about the movie as much as possible and/or censor it.
3) Turn off the TV whenever I can. If we're going to play, I ask him to turn off the TV first. I also have found that starting the movie close to the end often makes him more willing to turn it off when the credits start to roll.
4) If I don't make a big deal out of it (restricting his access), he doesn't seem to care as much about watching TV.
5) I start to worry more if we've gotten through an entire 1.5 hour movie and are starting it over again, along with other shows. Then I know I'm being lazy and need to get back in the game.
Confession: Even with all of this, he probably watches 2-3 hours *wince* a day (30 min each meal time, plus another 30...). Definitely room for a New Year's Resolution here.