First download-and-burn DVD drive from Dell

Today Dell started selling the industry’s first DVD drives that allow consumers to burn movie downloads to discs. These discs will be playable on any DVD player and will be fitted with CSS copy protection, the same used by studio DVDs at retail.

The new drives use Sonic Qflix technology and will be sold as an add-on for most of its Inspiron, Studio and XPS laptops and desktops, says Video Business. Besides offering the drive, Dell will also offer movie downloads from CinemaNow, a company that partnered with Sonic. In November the two partnered to use Sonic’s Roxio Venue application for burning with CSS.

It is believed that CinemaNow will offer over a hundred movies for CSS burning. Most Hollywood studio’s will offer their movies on CinemaNow, and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, Walt Disney Home Entertainment and MGM Home Entertainment might follow later.

After installing the drive in your PC, CinemaNow’s software will be installed automatically and legal downloading can begin. First you can watch the movie on your PC or portable device, or even better, you burn it to DVD and watch it on your player.

The drive will cost you $120 and at CinemaNow they announced to go under $10 for every movie download. “We’re definitely very excited about it,” he said. “We feel like it starts to add to the ecosystem. The DVD player is the widest deployed device in the living room,” said CinemaNow president David Cook.