VP6 is a low bitrate and high-quality codec for playing and encoding videos. It can be used as a plug-in within video processing software accepting third-party codecs.
Other features of VP6 include: improved error recovery, direct access to the reconstruction buffer, multi-pass encoding support, flexible datarate control, multiple platform support, HD video support, real-time encoding at full D1 resolution, working with inexpensive DSP processors, and using predefined profiles (Simple, General and Advanced). Additionally, VP6 can achieve any data rate by adjusting quantization levels, adjusting encoded frame dimensions or dropping frames.
Some of the performances that VP6 can achieve are compressing HD contents (1920 x 1080) on a 2.5 GHz computer; running on general-purpose DSPs without needing expensive add-on sub-processors; beating H.264, Windows Media 9 and Real Video 10 in PSNR comparisons using the standard set of MPEG-2 test clips and preserving more texture and details compared to Real 10 or H.264.
VP6 is an excellent choice if you work with digitized contents originating from analog cameras, as this codec provides support for real-time encoding at D1 resolution, the maximum resolution supported by this type of videos.
The VP6 codec can still be useful today, more than a decade after its final releases. It works with formats which are still supported up to this day and it offers support for the most affordable and basic types of hardware.
A short description of this codec would include the following facts: 40% better quality and 50% better playback performance compared to its predecessor, VP5; one of the best codecs in 2004, when its last version was released and ensuring better quality than its competition at that time.