THE TV: Mindless watching and Eating in Front of It

I am combining these two, because, they go well together, and involve the same “enemy”.  Let’s start with the mindless watching.  After work the other night, I grabbed the husband and furkids and headed to the vet.  They got their Bordatella squirt in the nose, weighed, checked out, Mia got a nail trim… then, I dropped them back at the house and ran to the grocery store.  Came home, made dinner…. and promptly plopped on the couch in front of the TV.  I did accomplish redesigning this blog, but that was it.  So, I had a to-do list with 10 things on it, none of them got done.  None.  The sad part, some of them could be done on the very laptop I was using to redesign the blog.  I got stuck watching reruns of various shows.  Nothing worth my entire evening.  Before I knew it, it was 10pm, and I was getting ready to head to bed. 
As for the eating in front of the TV.  It has been discussed, researched I am sure, and suggested all over the place that it is not a good idea. 
Here are my issues with it:
·       Less control of portions and what you eat
·       Harder to determine hunger when you have your mind focused on something else
·       Don’t really taste the meal
·       Are not enjoying the sensory experience of the meal, the taste, smell, etc
Dinner time or any meal time can be a perfect time to catch up with loved ones.  I won’t lie, I eat at my desk at work, and that is partly because I am out walking the track on my lunch break.  I eat breakfast while preparing lunch for the day (during the work week) or while driving to work.  I fail on these points all around.  But dinner, I will focus on eating dinner at the table.  And, now that my husband has moved his computers upstairs to his office, I have my dining room table back, and no excuse.  I cook fabulous meals (if I do say so myself), so why not take the time to truly enjoy them?  I teach children to listen to hunger and fullness cues, and then plop myself in front of a TV and tune out the important cues. 
So, from here on out: no TV during dinner, and dinner will be eaten at the table!! 
Mindless TV fix: I have 5 shows I enjoy watching.  (6 of BL straightens itself out next season) so I will watch those shows, and limit drastically the amount of “background noise” TV that occurs.  My husband and I are considering getting rid of cable, and that may be what I need to do.  There really needs to be more music in the house anyway….. 
Has anyone had these concerns and made changes?  What worked for you?