Look at Handbrake or similar apps. You need to use a utility to convert the DVD video to MP4 format and then use iTunes to transfer it to your iPad.
The other poster notes that in the US it's illegal to break the encryption to perform this operation, which is true -- except that there's an explicit exemption for DVDs when the content is in excerpted for to be used for education, documentary, or editorial purposes. Outside the US, conventional copyright laws generally cover the process and it's legal in all WIPO signatory countries so long as the resulting video isn't further distributed and it is deleted if you sell/dispose of the original media.
The US is interesting in that it's copyright law would not generally interfere with the practice, so new law was crafted that does not extend the protections of copyright but rather institutes new criminal rules that pertain to activities associated with the packaging and delivery of the work (encryption) rather than the work itself. Very clever on the part of the industry.
This forum would not generally permit discussion of illegal activities and hacking, but what you are requesting is not illegal, but it is sternly regulated. Take care to understand the pertinent regulations.
No where did the OP suggest that the copies were for "education, documentary or editorial" purposes. Of course, I did make an assumption that the DVDs in question were commercial and encrypted, which Handbrake will not copy. I am however, on point with the fact that discussions about how to copy encrypted DVDs are explicitly prohibited by the TOU:
Keep within the Law
- No material may be submitted that is intended to promote or commit an illegal act.
- Do not submit software or descriptions of processes that break or otherwise ‘work around’ digital rights management software or hardware. This includes conversations about ‘ripping’ DVDs or working around FairPlay software used on the iTunes Store.
Point taken. I didn't realize that talk about accessing with DVD content (legal or not) was prohibitted.
Note, however, that the OP didn't state whether the content was "commercial" or not, and it's not germaine as the same rules apply to your own home videos as they do to commercial. If you have your home videos they may be scrambled or region-coded as a commercial one, depending on the tools and hardware used. It's just as legal (or illegal) to access your own encrypted DVD content as it is commercial content. In the US, the copyright holder cannot grant license to access an encrypted work. Only the copyright or patent holder of the encryption algorithm used is permitted to. The copyright holder can grant permission to copy the work once it is decrypted. In the US, the actual copying of a work (for the purpose of backup or format-shifting) is explicitly permitted.
However, the original suggestion of Handbrake is still probably not against the TOU. The act of backing up or format-shifting content for personal use, if you are the owner of a licensed copy of the work, is permitted in the USA. And, Handbrake does not do it's own decryption of the data - it relies on the unencrypted data provided by the OS' licensed DVD driver. So, it's neither illegal, instructive on how to circumvent DRM, or "ripping" in the traditional sense of the term.
Wow this is all really complicated and the ad's for the Ipad make it look so simple. In short, I am a mother going out of town this week. I own a dvd movie and want to play it for my kids, in my car, on my ipad. No other outside, commercial involvement. From what I can tell I have to either 1) buy the movie I already own from itunes or 2) just bring my portable dvd to play the movie.
Is this right????
It is simple if you get your movies from the right sources i.e. the iTunes Movie Store.
However, what you're wanting to do (copy a commercial DVD onto the iPad) is actually illegal, so obviously the movie studios and Apple are required by law to make it as difficult as possible for you to break the law.
Stay within the law and its easy.