Thought I'd reach out and ask if anybody has any tips for smoothing out blocky/artifact looking footage. No plugin suggestions please as the footage doesn't warrant putting any money into it.
To understand the quality we're dealing with, its was shot on Hi-8 tape, uploaded to a YouTube account 3 years ago, then re-downloaded from YouTube with MPEGStreamclip. So like I said its just trying to salvage whatever I can for no $$$
"It's all about keyframes"
2011 3.2GHz 27" iMac, Final Cut Studio 2, Adobe CS4
If the artifacts and other undesirable aspects can be seen during the playback on Youtube I would say very little can be done.
Presuming the source video uploaded to Youtube was SD the largest flv/mp4 file made available from Youtube should be 480x360(most likely 320x240). Depending on how you acquired the video it is most likely less than 1/2 the size of the original SD file submitted to Youtube. If the file plays OK on Youtube the artifacts are most likely being added in your workflow.
Without being able to see the source, the source download, and what was done next it is hard to say as there are too many variables.
Video Download Helper is a free plugin for Firefox and it will allow you to see and download the different options available from Youtube.
Screenflow is not free but if you already had it it would be a good way to capture from the best playback scenario.