Hollywood movie studios are set to allow secure transfer of downloadable movies to DVDs for the first time by using new software to facilitate the process.

Sonic Solutions Inc., a digital media and software provider, announced Tuesday that it is teaming up with Movielink LLC to help provide downloading and secured burning features, on Monday.

Sonic Solutions will provide customized software to Movielink, a company established by several of the top Hollywood studios, allowing for its authorized customers to burn downloaded movies to discs in a protected format which will work in all DVD players. The date when the burning option will be available to consumers was not made available.

Movielink has licensed Sonic’s DVD-on-Demand technology to permit home users to securely download, format and burn movies to recordable DVD media. Additionally, Sonic will include the Movielink Service within its Roxio CinePlayer and other Sonic software.

This gives consumers a more flexible product while providing copyright holders with adequate protection of their content, Jim Ramo, CEO, Movielink said.

The deal is aimed at combining the flexibility and convenience of Internet video distribution with the permanency and portability of the DVD video format, according to Jim Taylor, Sr. vice president of Sonic Solutions’ Advanced Technology Group.

The online movie industry is just in the infant stage and is expected to grow as the technology matures.

American Technology Research analyst PJ McNealy said that the announcement bodes well for Sonic.

We are incrementally more positive on [Sonic] this morning as a result of the news, McNealy wrote in research notes released Monday. We believe [Sonic] is well positioned as more movie download and secured burning news could be coming this year.

He was quick to mention that while he believes this to be positive news, earnings estimates will not be adjusted until it is known when the feature will be readily available, and how many of the movie studios will allow for secured burning.

Today’s news is an agreement, but doesn’t give a date for when downloading and secured burning will be available via Movielink because the service, which is partially owned by movie studios, needs permission from the movie studios to offer this feature, McNealy said.

Movielink, LLC, a joint venture of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.